In our current series of blog posts, Diving Into Family Philanthropy, we are exploring the choices available to families that wish to engage in family philanthropy. In our most recent post, we discussed the benefits of family philanthropy, including:

  • teaching financial values to the next generation,
  • sharing and discussing investment philosophies,
  • establishing a training ground for future family board members, and
  • creating meaningful family experiences.

A recent New York Times article, “Giving Like a Rockefeller, Even if You’re Not Super-Rich,” about the philanthropic legacy of David Rockefeller, who died last month at the age of 101, shows a real-world example of the benefits of family philanthropy.

Multi generation meetingThrough interviews with several of Rockefeller’s children and grandchildren, the article explains how he used charitable gifts to teach younger generations of his family the values of gratitude, humility, responsibility and engagement. Younger family members were allowed to have varying degrees of involvement with the family’s philanthropic pursuits to best fit their own personal circumstances. Rockefeller also encouraged younger generations to follow their own charitable passions, which has been a key to keeping younger family members engaged. If you are interested in family philanthropy, we highly recommend reading the New York Times article.

In our next post, we will continue our series on family philanthropy by describing the different vehicles available for charitable giving, including family foundations, donor advised funds, and giving circles.