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Module 5: Unit 4

Managing family dynamics

Every family is different and every family has unique dynamics that come into play; this can be especially true in relation to the family's shared philanthropy.

This unit discusses family dynamics in the context of family philanthropy and the challenges that can be faced in working with your own family. It also provides examples of families that have overcome these challenges as well as some activities to use famiy dynamics to your advantage. 

Read (5 minutes)
Six tips for managing family dynamics This slide show provides seven tips for managing family dynamics in family philanthropy and has a companion slideshow which provides an overview of the six most common types of family conflict in family philanthropy.
Read (5 minutes)
Igniting the spark: Examples of next gen engagement strategies In 2001, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta launched the Center for Family Philanthropy. The focus of the Center was two-fold: (1) to provide a higher level of services to philanthropists with donor advised funds of $250,000 or more, or a planned gift of $1 million or more; and (2) to engage donors with families in philanthropy. There are approximately 200 donor members of the Center. This next gen case study describes their history of youth initiatives, and current youth engagement strategies used by the foundation to connect with youth in the communities they serve.
Read (5 minutes)
Avoiding avoidance: Addressing and managing conflict in family philanthropy This article asks as a short guidebook for dealing with family conflict. It specifically addresses the tendency to avoid the problems instead of acknowledging them and moving forward.
Tune-in (20 minutes)
Family dynamics in family foundations and family philanthropy This webinar addresses questions and concerns in navigating family dynamics in family philanthropy.
Tune-in (5 minutes)
Family boards: Why can’t we just all get along? Learn from a family philanthropy consultant in this webinar that addresses conflicts between family members in philanthropy.
Do (5 minutes)


Two truths and a lie

Completing the Activity: All family members should arrange themselves in a circle.

Each member think of three statements about themselves. Two must be true statements, and one must be false. For each person, he or she shares the three statements (in any order) to the group. The goal of the activity is to determine which statement is false. The group votes on which one they feel is a lie, and at the end of each round, the person reveals which one was the lie.

Have each family member play the game and at the end have a discussion on what you learned about each other, what suprised, you and what didn't suprise you.

Do (5 minutes)


Guessing goals

Completing the Activity: Each family member should write a dream or something they hope to accomplish through their family's philanthropy on a piece of paper. They also should write three things they need to focus on in order to reach this goal.

Anonymous papers will be collected by a family member, mixed up, and redistributed. Each person will then take turns reading papers and matching it with it's owner.

After this activity debrief the experience and discuss what you learned about your family.