Is your family exploring the possibility of a common philanthropic project? Through personal reflection, through a facilitated family workshop, or even while forming a dedicated family task force, here are some good questions to ask.
Whatever process your family prefers, you will find it helpful to answer the questions in the ordered provided.
1. Why should we give as a family?
Entrepreneurial families have many different reasons to give. Some are highly motivated by traditions and values: “Giving back to the community was something that my parents felt strongly about and was evident in their support of local organizations in our home town.” Others follow the example of friends and other business families: “We got involved in philanthropy and set up a foundation due to the direct experience of the charitable activities of a close friend and colleague.” Still others have strong feelings of gratitude about their entrepreneurial success and want to create a vehicle for giving back: “We need to share our success with our employees, clients and community; their work and their loyalty to us have been an important part of our success.” Families may be driven by the economic benefits of these activities for brand and talent management or prioritize the long-term value created by a sustainable and resilient supply chain.
Whatever the reason, it is important to begin the strategic journey by asking your family members about their motivations for giving and seek alignment within the distribution of perspectives and opinions.