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Successful Generations

Nov 22, 2017

Engaging Family in Family Philanthropy


The question I get asked the most, is “Ellie, how can I engage my family in philanthropy?” In this episode, Virginia “Ginny” Esposito, Founder and President of the National Center of Family Philanthropy, highlights what family philanthropy is and common trends in the work she has been in for over 30 years. She has lots of wisdom for parents and great resources, whether you are just getting started or if you’ve been giving for decades.


Topics discussed in this episode:


  • About Ginny Esposito (1:43)
  • What is family philanthropy? (3:56)
  • Trends in family philanthropy (11:51)
  • Issue-based vs. place-based giving (14:45)
  • Engaging family in family philanthropy (28:30)
  • Resources (38:20)
  • Why are you engaging your family? (something to consider) (45:00)
  • Bonus Questions (46:12)

Notable and Quotable:


“Family philanthropy has been around as long as there have been families.”—Ginny Esposito #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations


“Many times the tradition of giving precedes wealth in the family. Giving is part of a family’s culture.”—Ginny Esposito #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations


“Philanthropy often starts at the kitchen table...with family talking about what’s important to them.”—Ginny Esposito #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations


“The cause—whether it is an alma mater, a house of worship, or an issue like cancer that has personally touched a family member — can become the glue that focuses a family.”—Ginny Esposito #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations


What goals do you want to accomplish on behalf of a place or a cause? #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations


“Philanthropy in a family starts with what any parent wants for their children—character building, a sense of empathy, a sense of generosity, a sense of community, and our obligations to the community, especially if we’ve been given great gifts.”—Ginny Esposito #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations   


“I introduce children to philanthropy based on what they care about.”—Ginny Esposito #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations


“When wealth is involved, a few things become very important for children: teaching about financial literacy, respectful relationships rather than power-based relationships, and wealth apart from the family’s name are examples.” —Ginny Esposito #familyphilanthropy #successfulgenerations


Resources mentioned:


Find Ginny at National Center for Family Philanthropy

1667 K Street, NW, Suite 550

Washington, DC 20006

P: (202) 293-3424

F: (202) 293-3395


The Giving Code- Commissioned by Packard Foundation

National Center for Family Philanthropy

Giving Compass

The Power to Produce Wonders- white paper


What more of Successful Generations? 

Check out a few more of our other awesome episodes: 
Episode 003:
Episode 002:
Episode 001:


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Twitter: @EllieFreyZagel



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