Ensuring continuity of both your family harmony and your family business is as much an art as it is a science. So it is with family foundations.
For a family with means, and perhaps also as a model for a family with fewer resources, a family foundation may provide an opportunity to keep the family together and on the same page, while gradually introducing younger members to the responsibilities they will one day be expected to assume.
A family foundation represents a way of teaching personal and social responsibility, doing good as a family, and perhaps even making those foundation goals the goals of the family itself. The positive unifying and transitional potential of family foundations was explored by CNBC in an article titled “Family Foundations Prepare for the Next Generation.”
If you are the family member who established the family foundation, you goal should expressly include and establish a succession plan for your family foundation. In point of fact, a family foundation is like a family business; they share many of the same concerns, anxieties, and goals.
Now, even a family of modest means can realize the value in the family foundation model. Whether your family is working side by side in a soup kitchen or distributing millions to deserving causes, your family "foundation" can be a means of teaching responsibility, doing good as a family and letting everyone in the family work together as a team to accomplish that good end.
Reference: CNBC (February 9, 2013) “Family Foundations Prepare for the Next Generation”