Featured Article Posts

In Loving Memory: The Pros and Con of Legacy Grants

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on July 15, 2006

The loss of a loved one is difficult for any family to bear, and the desire to celebrate and honor his or her life and accomplishments is natural and common. For philanthropic families, if the lost family member has played a significant role in their giving, grief and sadness can be coupled with some...

Six Simple Steps to a Successful, Stress-free Family Meeting

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on May 15, 2006

Like so many other things preparation for a family meeting is vital to its success. With a little planning you can orchestrate and carry off a family meeting that accomplishes your philanthropic goals, strengthens your family’s commitment to effective governance of your giving vehicle, and is more...

4 Tips for Building Bonds, Improving Communication, and Encouraging the Next Generation

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on April 15, 2006

As nice as it would be to believe that a family’s unique dynamic— composed of individual and collective histories, experiences, memories, and modes of communication—remains firmly outside the discussions in which philanthropic decisions are made, the truth is that these factors can influence a family’s...

Ethical wills: Writing Your Chapter of the Family History

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on October 15, 2005

To be faithful to ourselves, we must keep our ancestors and posterity within reach and grasp of our thoughts and affections, living in the memory and retrospect of the past, and hoping with affection and care for those who are to come after. —Daniel Webster It’s widely acknowledged that the time to...

Site Visits: A Tool for Effective and Engaged Donors

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on August 15, 2005

Writing a check to a nonprofit is not in and of itself a particularly satisfying activity and it is only one step in getting the job done. There is no greater satisfaction than having some involvement with the organization you are helping to fund. Site visits accomplish this. Nothing beats getting to...

Six Timeless Tips for Raising Philanthropic Children

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on July 15, 2005

Providing for children not only involves ensuring that they have clothes on their backs, roofs over their heads, and food in their stomachs, it also requires that families supply a sense of appreciation for their gifts, monetary and otherwise, and the desire to share those gifts with others....

Evaluating Effectiveness: Pursuing Excellence in Your Family's Philanthropy

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on April 15, 2005

While no family launches a charitable giving vehicle with the intention of spending time and resources without results, it can often be difficult to quantify or even evaluate the results of one’s philanthropy. Certainly every family hopes that their giving will have a positive impact on the world...

African-American Family Philanthropy: A Long, Venerable Tradition

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on February 15, 2005

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the creative light of altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s persistent and most urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “It was part of my religious upbringing....

Ethics in Family Philanthropy: Putting Shared Values to Work

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on January 15, 2005

There are times when philanthropy is in the news for all the wrong reasons: stories of scandal and abuse garnering as much attention, if not more, than tales of valuable philanthropic contributions. Despite unfavorable press coverage and eroding public confidence in the nonprofit sector, things are not...

5 Ways to Harness the Holiday Spirit for Use Year-round

Posted by Sarah Trzepacz on December 15, 2004

Each year as the holiday season approaches, life’s pace seems to quicken exponentially, hurtling us faster and faster through last-chance buying sprees to office parties, gift exchanges, and family meals to feed a cast of thousands. But even with so many things to do, people to see, and memories to...

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