Support at Every Stage
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"Philanthropic families who are just starting out, or who have reached a transition of some sort, couldn't do any better than retaining FPA to assist. The firm is one of the best in the country. Their honesty, integrity and diplomacy are beyond reproach. They bring to the table a depth and breadth of experience one doesn't often find."

Anne Etheridge, Executive Director
The Peter Norton Family Foundation

The Philanthropic Journey

Families report that their philanthropy has added greatly to their relationships, knowledge and capacity for governance and leadership.  Teresa Bonner of FPA, partnered with the Family Office Association to design a survey of its members on their philanthropic practices and their impact. Please contact us to request a copy of the survey.

FPA has the experience and capacity to help your foundation no matter where you are on your philanthropic journey.

Beginning your Philanthropic Journey

You have been blessed with the capacity to make a difference in the world and the assets that allow you to do so. So where do you start? The options are endless, the responsibility daunting and your past experiences have not necessarily prepared you for this stage in your life.

Do you know where you want to go? Who do you want to take with you? What do you want to do on the trip? What do you want to see along the way? Are there places you want to stop? Do you know the rules of the road? What do you want to change as a result of your trip?

While you may have ideas about what you want to accomplish, you may feel overwhelmed by the "how to." You may need someone who can build the bridges to help you get where you want to go. FPA can bridge your intention with action, bridge your family with the community, bridge your assets with your passions and bridge your actions with impact. These bridges allow you to articulate your hopes, hone your intention and sharpen your focus. Your journey can illuminate, challenge and reward you and the community.

Foundations in Transition

Bridge generationsYou have been working diligently to make a difference in the world, relying on your own time and resources to manage your foundation. You love the work, but you are ready to consider another model that would relieve you of some of the burdens of foundation management. You may also crave a new "spark" - the excitement you felt when you started this venture.

You are rounding another corner in your philanthropic journey.

We understand that the current stage of this journey - running a foundation - requires a lot of you. The due diligence required in investigating grantees, the review of applications. The phone calls, the letters, the applications. The understanding of numerous IRS rules and the federal and state filings required. The obligation to say "no" so much more often than "yes," often to good friends.

At this stage, you may also be ready to take another look at the big picture: Could your philanthropy have more impact? Do you have the right people involved and are they playing the right roles? Should your foundation exist in perpetuity? The options are endless, the responsibility daunting, and you want to do this right.

Where do you start? FPA helps build the bridges to get you where you want to go: from a family-staffed organization to a family-led, professionally staffed foundation. FPA provides the infrastructure that allows you to shift your focus to governance, learning, leadership and stewardship - while providing strategic advice and support for the obligations of due diligence, grant administration, guideline development, communication with grant applicants, program development and evaluation.

Spending Down

You and your family are deploying a major gift of assets to make a difference in the world. You want to make sure your contributions have the most impact possible. Perpetuity has no special appeal to you - you want to see the change your foundation can make. You are looking at a potential sunset date: a date by which your foundation will have spent down its assets.

You are rounding another critical corner in your philanthropic journey.

At this stage, you are ready to take another look at the big picture: Could your philanthropy have more impact? What is an appropriate end date? Who will be impacted by this decision? What effect might this have on your family? What can you do to prepare grantees, which may be dependent on this continuing support?

The questions are endless, the responsibility daunting, and you want to do this right.

Where do you start? FPA builds the bridges that will help you get where you want to go. FPA helps you clarify your intention, address the many strategic questions ahead, develop a strategy, and execute important decisions to maximize your foundation's impact through the years ahead.