A Letter to Seniors (and will be seniors): Planning for Your Future in Philanthropy

This paper was developed from interviews with a dozen seniors, all over 60 and several in their 80s. Some of the individuals inter- viewed were still very actively involved in their family’s foundation. Others had moved on to new challenges. I talked with each person about his or her current role with the family’s philanthropy, their expectations for the future and the advice they would give other seniors.

Their stories are fascinating reminders of the many philanthropic paths available, whatever your age. Their stories fall into four categories of approaches to how they planned their own as well as their family’s philanthropic futures:

  • senior generation members who chose to stay actively involved in leading the family’s foundation.
  • seniors who passed on leadership but stayed active in the foundation.
  • seniors who focused more on their personal or immediate family’s philanthropy
  • seniors who moved entirely out of the family’s foundation work and on to other or new activities.