A private foundation can help you instill values in your children, prevent “affluenza,” teach fiscal responsibility and business skills, and even help older children get a leg up in today’s fiercely competitive job market—all while uniting the family in meaningful work. And because a private foundation can be set up to exist in perpetuity (with assets that grow in a tax-advantaged environment), your family’s foundation can become a living heirloom, passed from one generation to the next as a philanthropic legacy. Here are just a few ways that having a private foundation can help you build a better family today and for generations to come.
A foundation lets your children see you live your values as you champion the causes and issues that define your worldview. More importantly, it gives your children a chance to actively participate, researching potential grantees, bringing their own insights to the table, and experiencing first-hand the rewards of giving. And if your family wants to try out its own ideas for making a difference, a private foundation allows you to get hands-on with your own direct charitable activities. Whether you want to bring indestructible soccer balls to kids in war-torn countries, set up an organic food pantry in your home town, or present an oversized check to a sanctuary for rescued animals, a private foundation allows you to make your philanthropy uniquely your own.
Many affluent individuals—particularly first-generation wealth-creators—are concerned about “affluenza,” the potential corrosive impact of their wealth on their children. And though all philanthropy raises social consciousness, making children acutely aware of the world’s persistent societal and environmental challenges, a foundation that bears your family name demonstrates that you accept personal responsibility for meeting some of these challenges and expect your children to do so as well.