Contributions

Passing the Baton: Generations Sharing Leadership

Posted on June 4, 2008 by Alice Buhl

Today’s family foundation field has many well-prepared next generation members and a whole generation of longer living, active senior members. And while the field has been resourceful in promoting next gen involvement, it has done little to address succession issues for the senior generation or to consider options for shared, multi-generational leadership. Alice Buhl discusses lessons learned from family business,… Read More

Strategic Philanthropy: Maximizing Family Engagement and Social Impact

Posted on February 4, 2008 by Ashley Blanchard

For the sake of family cohesion and engagement, many family foundations base their grantmaking on the varied personal interests of their trustees. The unfortunate result is a scattershot grantmaking portfolio, with limited social impact. Conversely, a family foundation risks excluding family members if they are not interested in a shared programmatic agenda, minimizing the unifying potential of the foundation. The… Read More

Family Governance Meets Family Dynamics: Strategies for Successful Joint Philanthropy

Posted on October 28, 2007 by Fredda Herz Brown, Patricia Angus

This Passages issue paper explores the interplay of family dynamics and family governance in family philanthropies, concluding families who think about their governance systems, including how decisions will be made, are less likely to be encumbered by family dynamics than families who begin their philanthropies informally, progressing to formality over time. In addition, families who openly address their underlying internal… Read More

International Grantmaking: Family Giving Goes Global

Posted on October 30, 2006 by Darlene Siska

Geraldine Kunstadter is chairperson of the Albert Kunstadter Family Foundation, a small foundation based in New York City that started international giving in 1983. Its activity began after a Chinese architect and friend of Kunstadter’s introduced her to colleagues who were curious about American architecture during the Cold War, when China was cut off from the West. Kunstadter decided to gather discarded books about architecture from U.S. libraries for them. … Read More

Alternatives to Perpetuity: A Conversation Every Foundation Should Have

Posted on October 21, 2005 by Deanne Stone

This Passages is aimed at new donors considering a limited lifespan for their foundation, existing foundations that have already set a closing date, or any family contemplating the question of perpetuity. Author Deanne Stone gives background on the perpetuity vs. spending down debate and discusses the motivations for considering an alternative to perpetuity. The paper then identifies the basic challenges… Read More

Estate Planning As A Family: A Collaborative Approach

Posted on April 4, 2005 by David Gage, Ph. D.

The time has come to cast estate planning in a fresh light. For too long,parents and their advisors have conducted estate planning behind closed doors. Each year, billions of dollars of family assets pass from benefactors to inheritors but the process continues to be one of the most sensitive—and secretive—activities within families… Read More

Families In Flux: Guidelines for Participation in Your Family’s Philanthropy

Posted on October 4, 2004 by Deanne Stone

Family members marry, divorce, remarry, form domestic partnerships and, in many cases, move far away from the family home. With families growing ever more complex, varied, and far-flung, foundations and donor-advised funds need clear guidelines regarding who participates in their philanthropy and in what roles. This Passages report addresses changing family composition and circumstances and how philanthropic families may deal… Read More

Becoming More Than We Are: Ten Trends in Family Philanthropy

Posted on September 4, 2004 by Deborah Brody Hamilton

Changes in the world over the past twenty years – economic, environmental, global, and social – have inexorably changed the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Family philanthropy, once quiet and private, has become much more public and transparent. As a way to help make sense of some of this, this issue of Passages takes a look at ten trends driving and… Read More

Growing to Give: Instilling Philanthropic Values in Teens and Preteens

Posted on June 28, 2004 by Darlene Siska

The teenage years can be the most tumultuous ones—particularly for parents! Parents may want their children to become charitable for any number of reasons: to prepare them to take formal leadership one day of the family’s foundation or other giving vehicle; to participate in philanthropy as a family activity; or to develop charitable natures as an antidote to the possibility… Read More

Family Governance: A Primer for Philanthropic Families

Posted on June 4, 2004 by Patricia Angus

This Passages Issue Brief focuses on the principles, practices, and policies of family governance. Typically, a family’s philanthropy, whether formal or less structured, is only one of a number of ways in which family members interact with one another. This article aims to help philanthropic families understand the theory and practice of effective family governance… Read More

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