Succession & Legacy

Exploring Identity, Lifespan, and Next Generation Engagement

It is helpful to consider legacy and succession early in the lifecycle of your philanthropy, with an understanding that your views will no doubt evolve over time. What is the significance of your philanthropy?

The process is not about recognition, though that may play a role. Rather, it seeks to answer two questions: what the purpose and consequence of your giving has been, and who—if anyone—will continue to steward future efforts.

Philanthropy can be a unifying force but also sometimes a divisive one. After the passing of the founder of the family philanthropy, a family may be left wondering how to interpret the founder’s wishes. With forethought and planning, you can eliminate uncertainties and ensure that your giving will have a lasting impact.

This primer and the resources that follow are designed to help you shape your legacy and engage the next generation.

Download the Succession and Legacy Primer

Featured Resources

VIDEO | July 17, 2023

Navigating Family Philanthropy: Planning for Legacy and Succession

What is your legacy? Family philanthropy has the power to transform our communities, and our own families. And, with thoughtful planning, its impacts can reach far beyond any one individual moment or lifetime.

REPORT | May 16, 2021

Legacy in Family Philanthropy: A Modern Framework

Legacy is a fundamental consideration in the practice of effective family philanthropy, yet it remains one of the most ambiguous and often overlooked concepts in our field. Many families approach legacy with a retrospective lens—one that reflects on a philanthropic effort across a number of years or even generations. However, legacy is emergent and iterative. It ought to be considered

BOOK CHAPTER | September 21, 2017

Things We Wish Our Founders Had Told Us

This resource is an excerpt of Chapter 4 from “Splendid Legacy 2: Creating and Re-creating Your Family Foundation”.

BOOK CHAPTER | September 21, 2017

Engaging the Next Generation

This resource is an excerpt of Chapter 13 from “Splendid Legacy 2: Creating and Re-creating Your Family Foundation”.


Thrive at Five: The Secrets of Long-Term Family Philanthropy

If you are a newer family foundation with one or two generations on the board, five generations may seem like a long time away. Yet in family philanthropy, quite a few foundations have been operating and thriving for 50, 75, even 100 years. What’s the secret of these family philanthropies that make it five generations or more? How do they


Opportunity of a Lifetime 2.0: Multigenerational Family Philanthropy

More than ever before, giving families are working to involve multiple generations in their philanthropy. According to the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s Trends in Family Philanthropy Study, nearly 3 in 5 U.S. family foundations engage younger family members in the foundation — and more than 40 percent say they expect to add to or increase the number of younger-generation

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