Giving as a family

Share your long-term
giving goals

Involving your family in giving is hugely rewarding, bonding and valuable. But it can also be highly emotive, so for many families it isn’t always straightforward. 

Here are some issues to consider when thinking about giving as a family:

Why family philanthropy?

Giving as a family is a great way to strengthen family ties and share values and long-term giving goals among your family members. Involving your children at an early age helps them to develop sense of responsibility.

Family philanthropy also gives members a chance to give beyond what may be possible as an individual. Rather than each family member giving to charity separately, why not open a trust? That way you can give together, make a bigger impact and get more from the shared experience.

How can you leave a lasting legacy?

Setting your vision and long-term objectives for giving with present and future generations in mind can be challenging. Not every family has written guidelines about what's acceptable, so over time your family might develop some unwritten rules, such as not giving to well-supported charities, focusing instead on the areas of the greatest need.

If you find it diffcult to come to an agreement, an independent philanthropy advisor could provide a neutral point of view. You might also want to consider appointing an independent trustee on a family foundation.

Are there any challenges? How do you overcome them?

It can be worthwhile for older generations to step back and let younger family members take some responsibility - if you want them to be fully engaged. Having proper governance structures in place - for example 'generational committees' - ensures all family members have a say.

It's a good idea to regularly revisit the values within your foundation, to ensure they apply as much today as they did yesterday - and have the flexibility of evolving in the future. 

The fun pot!

Many family trusts and foundations allocate a defined amount of funding for more ad-hoc giving that comes straight from the heart, supporting causes and charities that may not necessarily meet the strategic objectives of the family foundation. Many family members find this is a useful way to remain engaged and makes giving more enjoyable.

How do you go about choosing which charities to support?

It can be difficult to understand what's important when it comes to choosing a charity, and to have the confidence that you’ve made the most effective choice and are making a difference.

Most families will carry out a lot of research and due diligence and ensure they follow up regularly with charities which receive larger gifts. Appointing a philanthropy advisor can be helpful at this stage. 

Often each charity supported will have a family sponsor, which will be recommended through their own personal experience.

Involve your family in giving

It’s really easy to start giving as a family. We can provide advice and organise everything for you. You can easily open your own family CAF Charitable Trust or start a family CAF Charity Account, so everyone gets involved.

Call us on 03000 123 028 or find out more about CAF Charitable Trusts.

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Family Philanthropy

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