Jack & Janet

Jack, 68, recently sold his household products company to an international firm and is able to set aside $25 million to endow a family foundation. His wife Janet, 58, and two adult children comprise the board. During his fortune building years the family gave about $25,000 a year to mostly Jewish charities, without too much forethought. With the business sale completed, a three year process, Jack is now thinking a lot about his family's legacy. A friend calls it "cramming for heaven."

Janet has a few "causes" like humane societies that she favors and her college; Sue and Ben, the children, are much more interested in environmental and civil rights than either parent and their "focus" - they'd like to think - should be global. But their families are young and the idea that they can now be major donors is daunting because until now Jack had not said much about the immense wealth the business's sale would bring.

The prospect of wisely giving away over a million dollars a year - without, a clear strategy, a resolution of the generational issues and a system for vetting and managing the thousands of applications a family foundation will attract - will not be settled by Jack's lawyer, accountant or investment advisor.

The key tasks:

  • Facilitate one or more family meetings exploring strategic options from each participant's perspective.

  • Help set up a governance process that is participative, deliberative and satisfying.

  • Identify candidates for paid program officer position; spec the position, set out duties and responsibilities.

  • Determine the grant making opportunities with which the family is comfortable.

  • Develop an interactive website that is transparent and inviting - but that allows for careful vetting.

  • Set up grants management software.

  • Work with the finance side in developing an orderly disbursement schedule.

  • - Composite based on real people and events.

    • Jack & Janet

    • Inspiring Family Philanthropy

    • Family Foundation Management / Counsel, LLC
    • 118 Wooster Street, Suite 2CD
    • New York, NY 10012
    • 212 481 0149
    • 38 East Street
    • Stockbridge MA 01262
    • 413 298 3385

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    New York, NY 10012

    (212) 481 0149

    Hank Goldstein

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