Family foundation

3 min read

A Family Foundation

Setting Up a Family Foundation: Leaving a legacy of meaningful impact

Establishing a private family foundation is one way to create an organized framework for giving that can enable you to establish a philanthropic legacy. It can strengthen family bonds by supporting collectively agreed-upon causes based on shared values and beliefs. To ensure your family foundation’s success, there are a few factors that need consideration.

Balance Interests

Balancing Individual Interests with the Collective

There is an evolution of charitable giving across generations. The key to ensuring mission adherence is to balance individual philanthropic priorities with the collective family giving goals.

How to achieve this? By taking a collaborative approach between family members, each person can contribute to defining the collective vision of the foundation. Keeping all stakeholders informed and engaged in what the family foundation is doing will create the basis for this collaborative approach. Sometimes, involving an external consultant can be beneficial in establishing this structure.

A healthy and productive family foundation includes individual and collaborative philanthropy opportunities. There are delineated avenues for these activities, with the appropriate processes and structures to support their defined purposes. By defining these boundaries, you can serve individual interests by offering personal giving opportunities in conjunction with collective family philanthropy.

Working Together

Working Together in a Family Foundation

Family foundations can strengthen family bonds. A 2023 study by the National Center for Family Philanthropy found that families who took a collaborative approach in their family foundation reported higher levels of family cohesion, effective governance, and impact on communities served. They also reported lower levels of tension between individuals and branches of the family and between personal and collective interests.

The research concluded that creating a robust family philanthropy system was essential to provide outlets for families' increasingly diverse philanthropic interests. They purported that families who most successfully perpetuated a collective family foundation over generations established different vehicles for different purposes. They implemented firm boundaries around collaborative and individual "pots." Offering opportunities for individual giving alongside collective giving decreases pressure on the family foundation and can provide a more rewarding experience for all.

Mite offers a portfolio of well-vetted initiatives with impactful local and international charities working in humanitarian areas of education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, disaster relief, and more. There are bound to be projects that will fulfill family members' philanthropic interests and the collective family's focus areas.

If you would like to talk to someone about your family foundation and giving opportunities, please contact our helpful staff. We would be honored to help you.