Five Tips on Family Philanthropy


Turn your philanthropic efforts into a family affair

Each generation has its own lens through which it sees the world and as of now, five generations could be sitting around the family dinner or business board table. Those of us that live with or work with multigenerational families know that these lenses inform how each generation makes decisions and they can be drastically different.

CICF supports multigenerational charitable planning and are often called upon to facilitate family conversations around giving. Here are five tips for engaging the next generations with family philanthropy:

1. START WITH A CHAT.

Families can start a conversation about philanthropy at the kitchen table by asking, or listening, to what is important to each member of the family. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to start!

2. ACKNOWLEDGE DIFFERENT GENERATIONAL EXPERIENCES.

Values and interests are developed based on different life experiences, and they are different for each generation. Consider how someone born after 9/11 thinks about the world differently than someone who lived through it.

3. UTILIZE RESOURCES.

Discussing finances and money with children can be difficult and awkward. CICF philanthropic services advisors are trained in facilitating conversations and use fun tools that help families of all ages uncover important values and interests.

4. GIVE YOUR TIME.

For families with young children or grandchildren, volunteering or visiting an organization can be a perfect introduction to philanthropy. It may open the door for meaningful conversations and values discovery.

5. EVERYONE GETS EQUAL SAY.

In order for an entire family to truly engage in philanthropy together, give everyone equal opportunity to voice opinions. This encourages everyone to participate entirely and to take more ownership of the grant’s impact.


If you’d like to learn more about engaging your family with your fund, contact us at EffectivePhilanthropy@cicf.org or call us at 317.634.2423.

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