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Family Philanthropy

Family philanthropy is not a panacea that will bring about family unity. Families find joy and challenges during the journey. Launching a family philanthropic effort requires frank discussions and practical decisions about goals, family member involvement, and specific roles.

Common questions of families include, Should we create a Family Foundation? How can we get our children and grandchildren involved in our DAF? How will we get the next generation ready to manage a foundation that’s going to be 10 times as big, five years from now? Is it time to spend down the Foundation that our grandparents created because we no longer live in the community it was intended to serve?

Consulting Process

A key path to fulfillment in family philanthropy is the degree to which you are driven, as a family, by a shared dream of what you hope to accomplish. Pat’s consulting process engages you in a thoughtful approach designed to create greater success and satisfaction for all involved.

The consulting process begins by:

  • Exploring what you value, and why, along with clarifying the change you hope to create through your giving
  • Through this exploration process you will be able to clarify:
    • Your vision (the impact you wish to have)
    • Your mission (where and with whom – what will be in and out of scope)
    • Both of which reflect your underlying values


Families that effectively sustain their philanthropy invest time in establishing and periodically revising the principles and practices that will serve as your decision-making lens for giving decisions.


Much like an effective family business governance structure, the consulting process is designed to help family philanthropists design and implement governance practices that reflect the size, scope and complexity of your philanthropic goals and gifts. The governance structure typically starts small, evolves over time, and may include:

  • An intentional process for engaging and educating future family participants
  • Clarity regarding roles and responsibilities
  • A strategy for evaluating the impact of your giving
  • A commitment to keeping your philanthropic process rewarding and fun

Reach Pat via email or phone at +1 415.297.8053.