Getting Started

About this collection: This Content Collection highlights key factors and questions you'll need to consider as you chart your path forward, and provides guidance on which vehicle(s) will be best matched for your long-term goals.

As a philanthropic individual or family, it all starts with you. Depending on your vision and goals, you have many choices available to you for establishing a family philanthropy. If you plan on involving family, be sure to discuss your plans as a group so they are engaged from the outset. This Content Collection highlights key factors and questions you’ll need to consider as you chart your path forward, and provides guidance on which vehicle(s) will be best matched for your long-term goals.

Start by downloading and completing the 5-minute Getting Started – Family Giving Considerations Worksheet and reviewing the Getting Started: Vehicle Comparison Chart. If you are considering either the family foundation or donor advised fund option, consider reviewing one or both of the following two NCFP resources:

Founding Questions and Considerations

Donor decisions: Choosing your vehicles for family philanthropy

New Media
As a philanthropic individual or family, it all starts with you. Depending on your vision and goals, you have many choices available to you for establishing a family philanthropy. This brief slideshow introduces several of the most commonly used vehicles for family philanthropy.

From the Start: Questions for Donors and Family Members

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Donors often seek effective ways to involve other family members from the start. Heirs, meanwhile, look for ways to appropriately honor the legacy of the donor(s). There are many questions and issues likely to be considered by both the donor and future generations. (Source: Living the Legacy: The Values …

10 Questions to Help Start the Values Conversation

Article
Why you give matters just as much, if not more, than what you give. Whether you are talking about preserving wealth or giving it away, it’s important to be clear on the values that drive that decision. How many people have voiced their own values, held a conversation with …

Grantmaking Mission and Giving Style

How to create and make the most out of our foundation’s mission statement?

Ask the Center
We have received inquiries from many family foundations who are trying to craft a mission statement for the first time or are re-imagining their current mission. This Ask the Center is excerpted from a 2007 piece written by Kevin Laskowksi “Where We Go From Here: Crafting a Family Mission Statement”. ` Would …

Starting Your Philanthropic Journey

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Getting serious about philanthropy is like embarking on a voyage: It is exciting to explore your beliefs and aspirations, learn from experts and practitioners, and experiment with different types of grants and organizations.

Your philanthropy roadmap

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This brief guide is designed to introduce readers to the world of thoughtful, effective philanthropy. It’s a roadmap for donors— individuals, couples, families or groups. It offers an overview of issues that philanthropists may want to consider as they create their own giving strategies.

What is my giving style? Two considerations: Visibility & Impact

Report
This guide identifies two (among many) considerations that shape a philanthropist’s giving style. The first is the degree of visibility a donor wants (or does not want): at one end of the spectrum is the anonymous giver, and on the other end is the public advocate. The second consideration …

Additional Articles and Resources

So You Want to Be a Family Philanthropist: Choosing Your Giving Vehicle

Article
There are two vehicles that most donors consider when they are interested in involving their families in shared, multi-generational philanthropy: establishing a donor advised fund or creating a private foundation. This article introduces the key questions donors should ask when choosing between these two common options.

Crafting Your Charitable Mission Statement: A Guide for Donors

Report
When donors start along their philanthropic journeys, one question that often arises is whether it is important to craft a mission statement; and if so, how best to do so. As with any journey, knowing your destination – or in this case, articulating your goals for your philanthropy by crafting a …

Inspired Philanthropists Checklist

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Author Tracy Gary helps donors discover what elements of inspired giving they already practice and the elements to which they still aspire.

NCFP Webinars

August 14, 2014

So You Want to Be a Family Philanthropist?

Sometimes philanthropy is done purely for altruistic reasons, but often there are other motivations. Donors with an interest in engaging their family in shared philanthropy must carefully review both the tax implications and administrative costs of the charitable vehicle(s) they consider, as well as the degree …

May 15, 2008

Shaping a Legacy Plan and Working with Your Advisors to Achieve It

Families who think thoughtfully about what they want to achieve with their wealth - either through their foundation, their personal giving or both - and who communicate that clearly to their advisors, will have more success in seeing their legacy fulfilled. Unless you develop a plan and share your vision, …
September 21, 2006

Breaking Ground: Considerations for Starting a New Family Philanthropy

This session will be helpful to both experienced philanthropists starting a new philanthropy and first-timers wondering where to begin, as well as to advisors struggling to give their clients a template for success in areas outside the legal and financial issues. The session features a presentation from founding NCFP Board …