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The Family Equaliser

By Family GovernanceNovember, 2021March 18th, 20242 min read

When there is more than enough wealth for the family itself, families often turn to philanthropy as a way of “giving back” to society.

Like anything, philanthropy can be done well, and not so well, and for the right reasons as well as the wrong reasons. These factors are not necessarily connected – someone may support a charitable project purely to feed their ego, yet it may achieve substantial social good. Certainly, doing things for the right reasons, and in the right way maximises the chance of getting good outcomes.

It’s important for families to ask “why?” as much as possible to understand their underlying motivations. Knowing “why” can also drive what the family seeks to achieve. In other terms, knowing your values helps articulate meaningful goals.

There are several family benefits to embarking on philanthropic activities. It’s well known that it’s a great way to engage the rising generation, and to build bridges between the generations. 

Another, lesser known benefit is that it can help equalise the hierarchy within a family. When it comes to business or investment, some family members may have seniority, aptitude and experience which makes their voices louder. But philanthropy can help raise the voices of all family members and allow all of them to contribute together in a meaningful way.

Consider This: Does your family understand why does philanthropy? Are all family members given the opportunity to learn about the space and participate? Who ‘leads’ philanthropy within your family?

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