Managing Family Dynamics: A Primer for Community Foundation Staff and Donor Families

Family members marry, divorce, remarry, form domestic partnerships, and, in many cases, move far away from the family home. Siblings may have long established patterns of competitiveness, feelings of fairness, or other sibling rivalry issues. Parents and children may have values that differ significantly. Communication may break down. In turn, these common challenges can affect how your family decides to engage in shared philanthropy. This Passages Issue Brief provides advice on how your family can set expectations, anticipate potential challenges, and build strategies and processes to guide your philanthropy, even as you deal with conflict and change.

NOTE: This special issue brief has been designed so that community foundations in NCFP’s Community Foundations Family Philanthropy Network may co-brand for distribution to their donors and advisors. To do so, please contact NCFP at for options.