Demystifying Decisionmaking in Family Philanthropy

Posted on August 4, 2003 by Ann Shulman

The notion of selecting methods to use in making a decision is foreign to many family foundations and advised funds. Getting board members to agree can be difficult enough. Why would foundations and advisory boards want to add yet another step to the process? This Passages Issue Brief describes different kinds of decisions made under varying conditions and circumstances require… Read More

Giving Until It Hurts: Coping With a Tough Economy

Posted on June 4, 2003 by Deborah Brody Hamilton

In early 2003, following two years of steady stock market declines, many nonprofits faced what commentators described as a ‘perfect storm’ in their funding. This Passages Issue Brief describes strategies that foundations and non-profits have used to survive these and other related cut backs… Read More

Generations of Giving: Leadership and Continuity in Family Philanthropy (Interim Report)

Posted on February 4, 2003 by Kelin E. Gersick, Ph.D.

Philanthropy is sailing into a new, uncharted era in North America, and family philanthropy is at the prow. Private charitable giving in 2000 topped $212 billion in the United States, an all-time record. At the same time, the number of new private foundations more than doubled from 1987 to 2001, with more than 6,000 new foundations created in 2000 alone… Read More

Opportunity of a Lifetime: Young Adults in Family Philanthropy

Posted on October 4, 2002 by Alison D. Goldberg

This Passages Issue Brief addresses one of the most important opportunities in family philanthropy – encouraging young adults to take part in the family’s giving process and to become philanthropic in their own right. What are the reasons that families involve young adults? And what can young adults themselves do to become more connected to the family’s philanthropy?… Read More

Difficult Discussions at Difficult Times

Posted on March 4, 2002 by Deanne Stone

This Passages Issue Brief offers suggestions for preparing for and responding to the effect of crises of different magnitude on philanthropic families. These include personal crises such as death, illness, and interpersonal conflicts, as well as community and national crises — including natural disasters, riots, economic recession, and terrorism… Read More

Supporting Organizations: Options, Opportunities, and Challenge

Posted on November 5, 2001 by Jason Born

Supporting organizations are flexible and entrepreneurial vehicles for family philanthropy. Families who know the specific causes they wish to support, and who are comfortable sharing control of their grantmaking with publicly appointed board members, may well find supporting organizations to be the most appropriate option for their philanthropic goals. Families seeking to support the programs and goals of a specific… Read More

Discretionary Grants: Encouraging Participation… or Dividing Families?

Posted on August 5, 2001 by Jason Born

The practice of discretionary grantmaking brings out a wide variety of responses. This Passages Issue Brief looks at the common reasons that families use or opt not to use discretionary grants, and the typical process that is used to make these types of grants. The paper also examines how different approaches to discretionary grants can support or hinder the work… Read More

Board Compensation: Reasonable and Necessary?

Posted on April 5, 2001 by Jason Born

Deciding whether to compensate or reimburse family foundation board members can be a difficult and complex decision. This Passages Issue Brief provides guidance on the legal regulations regarding compensation, suggestions for how to initiate a conversation among your board members about whether or not compensation is appropriate, and suggestions for how to develop a written policy based on this conversation… Read More

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