As parents, we worry about our children. And if we have more than one, we worry about how they will interact with each other, not just when they’re young but when they've grown up. Independence is great; interdependence is what keeps them together when we're gone.
There are a lot of things that can keep a family together, just as there are many ways to keep a business together. But, then again, there are just as many ways to drive the family or the business apart. Regardless, ensuring continuity of both your family harmony and your family business is as much an art as it is a science.
For a family with means, and perhaps also as a model for a family with fewer resources, a family foundation may offer just a unifying bond.
A family foundation represents a way of doing good as a family and even making those foundation goals the goals of the family itself. This kind of unifying goal 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, the goal should expressly be to include and to establish a succession for your family foundation. In point of fact, a family foundation is like a family business and shares many of the same concerns, anxieties, and goals.
Now, even a family of modest means can see the value in the family foundation model. If for no other reason, your family foundation can be a means of doing good as a family and letting everyone in the family work together to accomplish that good end.
Is there some goal around which your family can come together?
Reference: CNBC (February 9, 2013) “Family Foundations Prepare for the Next Generation”