Traditionally, family enterprises focused their philanthropic efforts in the communities close to their operations, where they could generate the greatest impact. Today, there’s an abundance of worthy global causes all competing for their attention. To maximise their impact, families need to align on the issues important to them while also addressing the challenges of harmonising and orchestrating philanthropic strategies in a fast-changing world.
On this episode, Dr Malgorzata Smulowitz, Research Fellow, and Dr Peter Vogel, Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship at the IMD Global Family Business Center, discuss the findings in their study, “Navigating your family’s philanthropic future across generations”, and how it suggests a real need for families to transform, organise, and codify their philanthropic activities in a rapidly changing world.
- Considered a soft topic by many, secondary to the running of a company, philanthropy often emerges as a challenge for families, especially when philanthropic activities are an integral part of the family system. The emotion that drives charitable efforts makes uniting families around a common cause complex.
- The innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that drives the business activities of family firms can complement their philanthropic efforts, generating new opportunities and maximising the scale of their resources.
- Communication is key if families are going to align their philanthropic goals. The engagement itself can also be rewarding for family members, reshaping individual perceptions and testing rivalries. For next generation family members, finding a supporter respected within the family is often an important first step to initiating meaningful change in the family’s philanthropy program.
View the IMD study, “Navigating your family’s philanthropic future across generations”.