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Preparing a Philanthropy Policy

Especially when giving as a family, a Philanthropy Policy can serve as the basis for decision making when it comes to selecting a charity or cause to support.

Your Philanthropy Policy should state the mission our purpose of your family's wealth. For example, your family may want to support the development of mentally challenged individuals, or it may want to provide a better quality of life for those living below the poverty level, or it may simply want to improve the lives of others. Whatever your family's chosen focus, a statement of the family's common charitable purpose can help unite the family and provide focus when considering to which charitable organizations to donate. Without a common mission, different people will have different interpretations of what is a priority, which could lead to conflict.

Your Policy may also outline how charitable donations are to be funded (e.g. $x per family member, x% of investment, etc.).

The Policy should also outline how the philanthropic process will be governed. How will decisions be made? Who is eligible to vote? What if there is a tie? Who will perform the administrative duties associated with charitable giving? What reports, if any, will be provided to family members?

Your family may also wish to establish a Grants Committee that would be responsible for researching organizations and making recommendations to the family.