Family Identity and Culture

About this collection: This Content Collection features resources that discuss the importance of family culture and identity and highlight experiences of family foundations.

Many philanthropic families have a strong sense of identity, defined by their traditions and culture and carried out through their commitments to one another and the public trust. A clear family identity is driven by a shared purpose and philosophy, which in turn promotes a successful collective giving effort. How do families understand their shared purpose and ensure it faithfully guides them in their work? What is the role of the individual in relation to the collective? How does culture affect the approaches that families employ? Learn how families cultivate their philanthropic identity and nurture a family culture that reflects a shared sense of purpose.

Webinars

father, son, and grandfather skipping stones - traditions, generations, family cutlure
February 11, 2021

Family Identity and Culture

Many philanthropic families have a strong sense of identity, defined by their traditions and culture and carried out through their commitments to one another and the public trust. A clear family identity is driven by a shared purpose and philosophy, which in turn promotes a successful collective giving effort. How …
August 9, 2018

Cultivating A Healthy Family Culture

The health of a family is often defined by its culture. Creating connections, positive relationships, and a lifetime of closeness takes ongoing effort and reflection. The Andrus and Forbes families have for many years been thoughtful about traditions, systems, cycles, and family governance. Learn more about their stories in our …
May 14, 2015

Balancing Internal Vs. External Missions in Family Philanthropy

What is your family’s dream for philanthropy? Are you primarily interested in achieving a particular grantmaking mission? Or are you interested in creating an opportunity for family members to come together and strengthen family ties through philanthropy and service to others? For many philanthropic families, the answer to this …
October 10, 2013

Creating a Culture of Learning for Your Family and Board

In the introduction to "Generations of Giving," NCFP's seminal study of multi-generational family philanthropy, lead author Kelin Gersick writes that "success in family philanthropy is measured in part by the family members' commitment to the foundation's work, the satisfaction they take in doing that work together, and the foundation's ability …

Required Reading

Samples from Families

Additional Resources

The Source Codes of Foundation Culture (GEO, 2015)

Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege: A Missing Link to Advancing Racial Equity (The Foundation Review, 2014)

Culture Resource Guide (GEO, 2018)

Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture (Equity in the Center, 2020)

Assess Your Organization’s Culture (The Bridgespan Group)

Understanding and Developing Organizational Culture (SHRM)

Pathways: Matching Estate Planning to Family Culture (Merrill, 2020)

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