Things We Wish Our Founders Had Told Us: Interpreting Donor Legacy

This special NCFP Distinguished Fellow Essay by Susan Packard Orr explores the questions that Susan and her fellow trustees wished they had asked of the founders when they were still alive. From the introduction:

This year marks the 20th anniversary of our father’s death. Our mother has been gone almost 30 years. During this time, we have worked to build the David and Lucile Packard Foundation into a highly effective member of the philanthropic community. We firmly believe that our parents would be pleased with the result, but of course it’s impossible to be sure.

Our parents had strong values, and they lived these in their personal and business lives, as reflected in the values of Hewlett-Packard Company.

This essay is a must read for any family thinking about capturing the values and perspectives of donors while they are living, and for any donor wondering what types of guidance will be most helpful in generations to come.