Family Foundations: High Risk, High Reward

This chapter is excerpted from “Philanthropy: The High Estate,” part IV of Conscience & Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker, which was edited by NCFP Founder and President Virginia Esposito and published by Peter Lang Publishing in 1999. From the chapter’s introduction:

A (married-into) member of a sizable family foundation recently commented somewhat sardonically, somewhat ruefully, “Building a foundation on the fragile relationships that characterize any family is a precarious enterprise, but the returns are worth the risk and all the tensions that go with it.”

What are the attractions, what are the risks, what are the payoffs? Are the ecstasies of success worth the sometimes agonies of the effort?

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