In my work as a philanthropy advisor at Hammer & Associates, I meet with a lot of families who share stories about what it’s like to give as a family—with parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and/or siblings. As they make decisions together, they get to know and respect each other in new ways. They better understand each other’s passions, interests, and working styles. They build something bigger than they could have on their own, and they can bring the next generation into the family fold.
In spite of these rewards, giving with family has its challenges. Even in the most successful families, misunderstandings, disagreements, personality differences, and power struggles can and do occur. Emotions run high and family members may react or revert back to long-established roles and behavioral patterns.
Imagine a boardroom full of family members who fall across the political and religious spectrum. One adult sibling who won’t stop talking, and another who can hardly get a word in edgewise. A millennial who only responds to text messages and takes notes on a laptop. A traditionalist who has no time or patience to learn technology. An aunt who is harboring resentment over a tiff that happened decades ago.
Sound like a fun meeting? If you’re shaking your head no or you’ve been there before, I’ve got something for you that will help:
Making the Most of Family Dynamics: A Family Office Guide to Meaningful Giving is the third of the EngagedPhilanthropy™ series available for family office leaders and philanthropists (both U.S. and international). This toolkit will help you acknowledge and skillfully navigate the dynamics in the families you work with, in order to support a meaningful and impactful philanthropy practice.
You will learn:
- What are family dynamics, and how do dynamics commonly show up in families working together?
- How can family offices help their families navigate these complex and confidential dynamics in ways that support the best interests of the family and its philanthropy?
- How can effective philanthropy help families strengthen relationships?
The good news is, in most families, the rewards of working together and giving together far outweigh the challenges.
I hope you enjoy this toolkit—my gift to you—and that it sparks rich conversations within your family or the families you serve. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Drop me a line at Suzanne@SuzanneHammer.com.