Many donors choose to establish a family foundation, donor-advised fund, or other family giving vehicle for the specific goal of engaging their children and future generations in shared family philanthropy. This involvement does not always happen in the ways donors expect. Think about the young adults that have a relationship to your family’s philanthropy. Are these family members actively engaged in the work of the foundation or fund? Do they enjoy their involvement in the family philanthropy? Is it accessible to them?

Do not despair if the answer to these questions is “not really” or “not yet.” There are many ways that young adults can become engaged in family philanthropy, and it may take time and experimentation to determine what works best for your family.

Families with the most success in engaging new philanthropists are those that prepare younger family members for philanthropy in general—not for a specific role within it. Not all family members will want or be able to serve as a board member, but they can always be charitable. Equip your next generation, then, with the values and the skills for effective family philanthropy, however they may serve.

Igniting the Spark: Using next gen boards to build and inspire a new generation of donors

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Interested in reading stories of families who have found successful ways to engage the next generation and youth in family philanthropy? Check out our Igniting the Spark series of case studies, as well as our Passages Issue BriefIgniting the Spark – Creating Effective Next Gen Boards.

 

What has worked for you? Send your suggestions to us via the Contact Us page.

Contributions

Leading with Love and Gratitude: The David Rockefeller Fund at 30

Posted on August 4, 2020 by David Rockefeller Fund

The David Rockefeller Fund charts its history with a fascinating look into the evolution of the family and its philanthropy. The Fund’s history reflects the fact that change is inevitable and necessary, but must be rooted in the values and legacy of the family. The family’s recognition of this positions them for long-term success, encouraging them to remain flexible and… Read More

Supporting Youth and Next-gen Philanthropy: How to Get Started

Posted on May 28, 2020 by Vasser Seydel, Kimberly Myers Hewlett, Sammie Holzwarth

Durfee Foundation next-gen board meeting
Multigenerational families use different methods and techniques to teach the next generation about philanthropy. Successful future engagement depends on many considerations, including when and how to best inspire and empower next-gen family members. Please join us for a discussion that will explore a number of important considerations, including when, and how to introduce the concept of giving to your family,… Read More

Engaging Youth Peer Network: Youth and Next-gen COVID-19 Giving

Posted on April 22, 2020 by Eesha Vettical, Allison Hale, Rebecca Riccio, David Weitnauer

Attendees at a Youth Philanthropy Connect event
Youth and next-gen givers are an integral part of our foundation’s futures, and many are interested in helping during the current crisis. COVID-19 provides a unique, albeit unfortunate, opportunity to engage youth in decisions around crisis response funds. Learn how peers are engaging youth in these decisions and values conversations, broaching delicate topics, and nurturing empathy… Read More

Joint Non-family Staff and Engaging Youth Peer Network: Connecting Family Across Distance

Posted on March 18, 2020 by Jenny Kelly, Bruce Karmazin, Steve Toben

Please note: This Peer Network was originally scheduled for March 25, 2020 and has been rescheduled to June 17, 2020. If you registered for the March 25 event, you are still registered for this updated date and will be sent login information closer to the event.  For families that are spread across multiple locations, it takes effort to effectively engage… Read More

Planning a Family Retreat

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Shira Saperstein, Wynn Rosser, Angie Schlater, Carrie Avery, Jennie Zioncheck

Getting your family together for a retreat is a great way to spend quality time together, as well as focus on your family’s giving with the foundation. Families use a variety of resources to build community and discuss important topics in their philanthropy. In this webinar, you will hear how foundations have designed their retreats and meeting agendas, activities for… Read More

The Power of a Name: Considering Privacy, Publicity, and Transparency

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Stephanie Goodrid Lawson, Daphne Moore, Nicholas A. Tedesco

Maginfying glass with money
Using your name publicly can be a positive and productive tool in your philanthropy. Your name can also carry a lot of weight: the responsibility, publicity, and hesitance to experiment and potentially fail. For families that want to use their names more intentionally, it is important to consider the full range of opportunities and responsibilities present. In this webinar, hear… Read More

Family Philanthropy: Tying Grantmaking Practices to Shared Values

Posted on November 22, 2019 by Ashley Clark, Kerry McHugh, Melissa Sines, Katy Rees

Connecting values to practice is key in family philanthropy — shared values can help family givers develop a grantmaking strategy that ties their vision and mission to real impact. As your family considers its own philanthropic strategy, how do you begin to think about your values and put them into practice? Through this co-designed webinar, join NCFP and PEAK Grantmaking… Read More

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