Demystifying decision-making in family philanthropy

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How do you make decisions related to your family’s philanthropy? Does the method you choose vary based on the importance or complexity of the decision? Different kinds of decisions made under varying conditions and circumstances may require different decision-making methods. This webinar features Ann Shulman, an attorney, mediator, and advisor to family foundations, and author of NCFP’s Passages Issue Brief,Demystifying Decisionmaking in Family Philanthropy,” along with leaders from two family foundations who will share several alternative approaches to making decisions in family philanthropy.

Click here for an excerpt from the webinar featuring Ann Shulman discussing the range of decision-making methods available to family foundation boards.

For the full replay and slides from the event, please login to NCFP’s Knowledge Center.

Featured Speakers

Lori Kuhn

Lori Kuhn is the first executive director of the Morgan Family Foundation in Yellow Springs, Ohio,…

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Ann Shulman

Ann Shulman, J.D., LL.M., is the Executive Director of Philanthropy Associates, a firm that provides customized…

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Ellie Frey Zagel

Ellie Frey Zagel

Ellie Frey Zagel is a leadership coach specializing in multi-generational family businesses. She helps next generation…

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What others have said...

Each presenter gave several useful guidelines for making board decisions.


Anne set the tone, and with the other speakers bringing in personal family stories around the topic, the right balance was set and the trading of ideas was exceptionally inspiring.


Great mix of practical theory, tools, and examples.


Learn about communicating the decision process prior to beginning the discussion, determining a fall back if the chosen method doesn’t work, and use the IT FITS tool.


I learned helpful strategies for difficult decisions and conversations.


Helpful ideas for my family foundation: Making clear what the decision making process is;  Reaching consensus can be a goal, but it’s okay to have a fall-back plan; and Trump cards – interesting way to think about “sacred cows.”


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