5 Steps to Engage Your Family in a Giving Strategy

By Nancy Opiela

When deciding how to involve family members in your giving strategy, you will need to consider their ages, levels of independence, strengths, and interests. Working through the following five steps will help you start giving as a family.

1. Have Family Members Articulate Their Giving Goals

Ask family members to express their charitable giving priorities in writing, rank them, and indicate the timing, amount, and mode of giving they would like the family to consider.

2. Develop a Family Mission Statement

Discuss family members’ individual statements, and identify common goals and priorities among them. You might also want to identify competing goals during the discussion and prioritize them as new opinions are offered. Incorporate top goals into a philanthropic mission for your family as a whole.

3. Decide Where to Give

Begin to make choices about where and when to give, and set ground rules for making these decisions as a group.

4. Select a Giving Vehicle

Consider what level of involvement each family member would like to have in the giving process, and choose a vehicle that not only furthers the family’s goals but also allows individuals to be as active in the charitable process as they want.

5. Assess Your Impact

Make time to regularly review the effect of your family’s giving strategy. Devoting even a small amount of time at family events or holidays to this activity will allow you to enjoy together the results of your giving.


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