Saying Goodbye: Strategic Exits for Family Funds

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on November 25, 2006

The phrase “exit strategy” came to the philanthropic world from the world of venture capital after a brief stint in the military. Venture capitalists look to sell a fledgling enterprise or take a company public, exit strategies that guarantee a return on their investments. Similarly, venture...

A Thanksgiving Message: Gratitude and Optimism

Posted by Virginia Esposito on November 15, 2006

The fall season of educational workshops and speeches is coming to an end and, once again, I have learned more from conference participants than I possibly could have shared. The enthusiastic commitment of those who give up weekends and vacation time to focus on the responsibilities of philanthropy is...

Geographic Dispersion: Opportunities for Far-flung Families

Posted by Kevin Laskowski on September 15, 2006

Among all the challenges that family philanthropies of all types face, giving families increasingly find themselves struggling with geography. In 2000, the National Center for Family Philanthropy and the Foundation Center found that the grants of a vast majority of family foundations were committed to...

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...

The Season of Giving: Sharing, Growing, Risking, Serving

Posted by Virginia Esposito on December 15, 2005

The signs are all around us. The local newspaper or magazine does a feature on good things going on in the community. Your mail includes a few more personal appeals for a charitable gift. Your financial advisor reminds you that you only have a few weeks to start that fund you’ve been considering....

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....

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