Money and Values

About this collection: This content collection was curated to share some experience, tips, and tools to better support philanthropic families in their money journeys.

Curated By: Jen Crino

Each of us has our own money story – the underlying assumptions, messages, hopes, and behaviors that we’ve learned over time about the meaning and use of money. Those stories are also influenced by increasing online data about family wealth and public skepticism of concentrated wealth. The alignments and clashes among family members, branches, and generations around their money stories easily spill over into a family’s philanthropy. They influence their ability to create shared philanthropic values, goals, investment and grantmaking policies, and more.

How can families create healthier money narratives and habits which can, in turn, create healthier alignment in their philanthropy? What are the appropriate roles of foundation staff and advisors in supporting those often-stressful family conversations?

For additional perspectives about defining motivations and values, see the Content Collection, Values and Motivations.

Top Resources

Why Did I Make All This Money: Values And Ethics In Family Foundations

Book Chapter
Donors who create successful family foundations generally begin by addressing three kinds of issues. The first are immediate and worldly- tax consequences, legal relationships, and family involvement, public visibility, and so forth. The second are a pair of searching issues that every donor must answer: Why did I make all …

Raising Children with Philanthropic Values

Develop an understanding of your own values, starting with your “money values.” We all have beliefs about money. Affluent parents may have more difficulty clarifying these values since there are so many choices they can make available to their children. Wealth counselors offer a variety of tools to help people …

When You’re Invited Because Of Your Money… Use Your Money To Lead!

When I was invited to join the governing board of a prestigious organization, one of my colleagues offered sincere congratulations, but I could tell she was holding something back. "Are you worried that they asked me because of my money?" I asked. "Yes" she said. "I hope that doesn't hurt …

Addressing the Taboo: Talking About Money in Family Philanthropy

Blog Post
Money Messages and Wealth Identity When we work with philanthropic families in our multigenerational and next generation engagement practice at 21/64, family members share their values, their vision and their philanthropic passions and grantmaking.  Grantmaking is many things to many people, but it is fundamentally about the transfer of money. In …

Money and Death: Having the ‘What Happens When’ Conversation

Blog Post
The death of a foundation leader or senior family member is likely the most emotional change a foundation will undergo. Suddenly, or not so suddenly, family members and the board face grief and loss, perhaps alongside an onslaught of financial, legal, and organizational issues. How can you plan ahead, as …

NCFP Webinars

July 11, 2019

Community Foundation Spark Session: Money, Values, and Culture

Please join us for this special joint NCFP Webinar and Community Foundation Spark Session, brought to you by the generous support of our Community Foundations Family Philanthropy Network. Each of us has our own money story – the underlying assumptions, messages, hopes, and behaviors that we’ve …
November 12, 2009

Talking About Money

Talking about money across generations can be uncomfortable. In this teleconference, we’ll use a case study of a multi-generation family’s conversation about their wealth and philanthropy to help listeners unpack multiple layers of assumptions and perspectives from each family member’s point of view. From this call you’…
August 10, 2006

Sharing Values Effectively Across Generations

Sometimes it can be tough to communicate values across generations even if the only thing that changes is the vocabulary. Although at heart we know that members of our family share values, defining and verbalizing a shared philosophy can take a special effort. As co-founder and consultant for the organization 21/64, …