Share Your Voice in the Trends in Family Philanthropy Survey

research-wordle.jpg_930094764How do philanthropic families involve younger generations in giving? How do those families think about strategy, impact, and legacy? How are they using staff, advisors, and services such as Donor-Advised Funds? Which financial and volunteer roles are family members taking?

There is surprisingly little data on these and other characteristics of philanthropic families. That will soon change, thanks to the new Trends In Family Philanthropy Study by the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) and Urban Institute. The research is being conducted in May and June of 2015 and the results will be released at NCFP’s National Forum on Family Philanthropy in October.

I joined the project’s advisory committee last fall because (you guessed it) I’m a philanthropy geek. More importantly, I know that philanthropic families frequently ask questions about how peers are handling a variety of giving, governance, and management issues. This study will be a terrific resource to the families and their staff and advisors, and it will be repeated and updated over time.

The Urban Institute is reaching out to a random sample of private, family foundations. NCFP is more broadly surveying philanthropic families, regardless of the tools they might be using (foundation, charitable gift fund, bank trust, etc.) and regardless of small or immense grantmaking/giving budgets.

Here’s where YOU come in!

Are you part of a family that purposefully practices philanthropy together? Do you staff or serve philanthropic families? Then please encourage the family (one response per family) to complete the confidential survey at It is about 50 questions and will take 25-30 minutes or so. You can also pass along the opportunity on social media using the hashtags #familygiving and #trendsresearch.

And, if you know folks at the William Penn Foundation or J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, please thank them for providing major funding for the research.