Bringing the family together through giving

: A family whose members give to many different causes wants to explore opportunities to join forces for greater social impact and greater family cohesion through their philanthropy.

Father and son participating in a Glimmer of Hope in Ethiopia

Process: Philanthropic Intelligence  interviews each family member to understand their giving history, priorities and motivations and identifies commonalities that are true for the family´s giving across multiple issue areas. The family realizes they all share a desire to “help the children of families in need succeed” and a conviction that education is fundamental to success in life. They adopt “education for children in need”, including multiple types as needs, as the focal point of their shared giving. Philanthropic Intelligence identifies three effective approaches to reaching this goal and several nonprofits with track records of success in each of the regions and countries that are most important to each family member. The philosophy and results of two nonprofits in particular appeal to multiple family members.

Results: Six family members pool funds to make a single larger gift that responds to needs articulated by each of the two nonprofits Family members from each generation decide to get more personally involved in each ONG and begin a tradition of briefly sharing their experiences at gatherings of the extended family, in addition to discussing the formal post grant reports prepared by Philanthropic Intelligence . In turn, the size and impact of the joint funding prompts the two nonprofits to see the family as a “strategic donor” and so offer the members additional information and opportunities for input and unique chances to see the ONG… and their donation… at work in the field.


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