Do Small Family Foundations Have Big Impact in Houston?

Giving-to-charity2… Large-scale strategic philanthropists are forcing family foundations of all sizes "to re-examine whether they're approaching their giving in a way that's likely to have the biggest impact." And, sometimes, as Pierce has found, a bigger impact can come from foundations of smaller sizes.

Small family charities and foundations can often be overshadowed by big-time charities– the Gates Foundations, the Case Foundations, former presidents and the Rockefellers of today. It’s an unfortunate problem of recognition that the Wall Street Journal points out over in “Small-Fry Family Foundations,” and many new charities face.

Many new retirees are ready for a new challenge and a second career of giving back. After all, once they are playing the “back nine” of life, several new retirees are looking to make a difference with the fruits of their life’s work. Many choose to create a family foundation to make the most meaningful use of their time and money, not to mention to achieve their charitable objectives.

How unfortunate it is, then, to see such lofty objectives fall by the wayside or simply go unnoticed because it is eclipsed. It’s crime enough to see mom-n’-pops go under when it comes to business and this isn’t just business; it is charity.

So what ingredients make a family foundation successful? How do you steal a bit of the limelight to help your cause? These are things to think about even in the formation of the foundation, and even as you consider this as a family mission and second career.

The original article contains advice and a case study or two to ponder if you already have or are considering creating a family foundation.

For additional information about charitable giving and other estate planning topics in Houston, please visit our website.

Reference: The Wall Street Journal (March 28, 2014) “Small-Fry Family Foundations


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