Family Philanthropy: Determining the Right Way for Your Family to Give Back 1/3

We all know that Nova Scotia is a great province to live, which is why you many of you decided to build your business here. What makes it so great is predominantly the people. We are kind, generous and humble. We volunteer. We help. We give.

There’s no doubt that much of our success can be attributed to the generations of everyday philanthropists who have given their time, talent and treasure to help our cities and towns flourish. Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial families like yours are noted for above average giving and above average volunteering, often with the purpose of giving back to the communities that have supported their business endeavors.

With so many great causes, and a variety of ways to support them, more and more families are planning their philanthropy together. Not only to establish a family legacy but as a means to develop shared values and teach children about social responsibility.

As the season of giving is upon us, we thought it might be a good time to share with you some guidelines in a three-part series that can help your family create a flexible philanthropic plan tailored to your priorities and preferences. We hope it will help you identify the things that matter most to your family and build a meaningful plan that reflects your values and giving goals.

When you start to think about ways your family can give back, the first question to ask yourselves is What Inspires You?

If you and your family are not sure how you want to make a difference in the community, these questions may help you figure out how to begin your plan for family philanthropy:

  • How does the idea of giving make you feel?
  • Are you currently involved with any charities (i.e. as a donor, volunteer, or member)?
  • What causes have you supported in the past five years?
  • Do you have a vision of how you would like to make a difference?

The next question in your journey in family philanthropy is What is Your Purpose?

That purpose could be:

  • Ensuring that the continuity of your strategic giving continues
  • Involving your family in your philanthropy
  • Enabling your children and grandchildren to discover philanthropy
  • Establishing or continuing a family legacy
  • Creating a common bond that keeps the family together

Now that you have started to think about what is important to your own family in terms of your current level of giving, you can begin to discuss your plans with your family members. Our next post will explore shared values.

In the meantime, you can always reach out to us to arrange to have someone from our team join you to help facilitate the conversation with your family.

About the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia

The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia is an action centre for philanthropy. We provide the knowledge and support for communities, charities, and citizens to realize their individual potential and collective possibilities. Our mission is to build strong, vibrant and diverse communities throughout Nova Scotia by enabling and inspiring effective philanthropy. Community Foundations have a 100 year history in Canada, over $6 billion in assets under management, and knowledge about both the tax advantages of giving and how to build giving into your family and business’ long-term plans.  Our model offers expertise and economies of scale that ensure a greater investment in community. The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia can help you create the impact you want through a customized mix of giving today, tomorrow, and into the future.

For more information, visit us at

This is the first of a three-part blog series from the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia

Community Foundation of Nova Scotia

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