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Family Wealth: — Keeping It in the Family — How Family Members and Their Advisers Preserve Human, Intellectual, and Financial Assets for Generations, Revised and Expanded Edition by James E. Hughes Jr.

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Chapter 12. Family Philanthropy

This chapter is dedicated to Peter Karoff, founder of the Philanthropic Initiative; Peggy Dulaney, founder of Synergos; Tracy Gary, founder of The Women Donors Network and of Resourceful Women; and Robert and Wendy Graham, founders of Kataysis and Namaste. Each, in a special way, opened my eyes.

In this chapter I discuss the role of philanthropy in a family governance structure. I will demonstrate how philanthropy can powerfully assist a family in shaping its values and how, through its organization and practice, philanthropy can teach a family how to govern itself.

Philanthropy is first, perhaps, the fundamental parent expression of personal and family values. If the family mission statement is an expression of these values, philanthropy is often the best way to move them into practice. Philanthropy can often be a means for family members who are isolated from society by their wealth to connect with the larger issues of the world and to find an active and meaningful place in it. Philanthropy, or in the original Greek philos anthropos, means love of my fellow man. The practice of philanthropy by a family offers its members the opportunity to give to the outside world a portion of their time (human capital), talent (intellectual capital), and money (financial capital). Giving, as all of us know, feels good. Every spiritual tradition has a proverb to remind us of how good it feels. The one I like best is "The world loves a cheerful giver." Every spiritual ...

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