Families with significant wealth often choose philanthropy as a means of making the world a better place, often through the creation of private foundations to ensure that their money is effectively put to use for causes they are passionate about. This can also provide a new opportunity for next generation members to engage with their family enterprise, whether they choose to join the family business or not.

Just as with any other asset, it’s important for the family owners to be aligned on the mission and vision of the family foundation, whether it is a local or global focus, dedicated to one or two causes or many, proactive or reactionary. That’s where Banyan comes in.

Here are some representative examples of the work we do with family philanthropy:

Starting a Family Foundation

After selling one of the companies in his portfolio, the founder of a large business decided it was time for his family to support some of the causes they’d individually come to care about over the years in a more organized way. He made the decision to endow a family foundation. But now what? What impact did the family want to create through the foundation? How would they make decisions about where to give the money, especially since the family had interests in different areas? How could the founder retain some control over the foundation’s activities while also engaging the next generation?  Did they need to establish a board, or hire a staff person? Josh: one sentence here on how/what Banyan did/advised (or at least a sneak peek at it).

Engaging the Next Generation

The second generation of a family enterprise decided it was time to begin engaging the third generation in the family’s philanthropic efforts. They hoped that doing so would help the next generation better understand the real world outside of the bubble of private planes, private schools, and private clubs that the family was increasingly living in. They also wanted to give the third generation some experience working together, in the hopes that it would begin preparing them for the eventual need to make decisions together about the family’s business and investment portfolio. How could they construct an activity that would enable substantive and meaningful collaboration? And how could they make sure the next generation gained the experiences they needed?

“Banyan helped us to organize what we wanted to do philanthropically. Now we have a shared mission and vision for our foundation.”
– Family Foundation leader

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Our process starts by working with you to identify the objectives of your philanthropy, starting with a better understanding of what change in society you would like to help bring about. Our experience is that the most successful and sustainable families go further - they also think about what impact they want to have on their own family, such as developing the next generation or maintaining family unity. With those objectives in mind, we will help you to design the strategy, governance, and talent required to achieve your vision. If your plan is to continue your philanthropy over time, we will also work with you to plan for the transition to the next generation.

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