Do you have a clear vision of your foundation’s future? Do you know the charities you want your foundation to support? How long do you want your foundation to last? Who will make decisions regarding grants from your foundation after your death or incapacity?

I have been surprised that these questions have not yet been answered by a lot of my clients who have already funded a family foundation and/or plan to make substantial contributions to their foundation upon their death. As to lifespan, a recent study by the Foundation Center concluded that 63% of family foundations plan to last into perpetuity, 12% plan to have a limited lifespan, and 25% are undecided about their lifespan. It has been my experience that the undecided group is higher than 25%.

Setting up and funding your foundation is the most difficult step. Establishing rules for the management of your foundation should be the easy part. You owe it to yourself, your family, and your favorite charities to make sure that there are definitive guidelines for the management of your charitable legacy. 

Link to Perpetuity or Limited Lifespan: How Do Family Foundations Decide?