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?

Order your copy of Conscience & Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker.

This Collection

Conscience & Community: The Legacy of Paul Ylvisaker

This Content Collection shares several examples of Paul Ylvisaker's most well-known and instructive writings on the practice and privilege of private philanthropy.

See Collection

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!


Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now