Death, Legacy, and Leadership Transition

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, and also an onslaught of financial, legal, and organizational issues. How can you plan ahead, as a foundation and as a family? And how can you honor your late leader’s legacy while moving the foundation forward?

If you are reading this Passages, chances are you’ve recently lost a family foundation leader and loved one, or perhaps you are anticipating it. In times of loss, it can be incredibly helpful to seek out resources and hear from others who have been through a similar situation. In this guide, you will find stories and advice from family foundations who have grappled with deep loss, managed a rapid change in leadership, and learned to move on in a way that best served the family and the foundation. You’ll also find tools that will help guide you through the process of change.