At the 2017 National Forum on Family Philanthropy, Ellie Frey Zagel described herself as “the next gen of your nightmares: one who said she’d never return to live in the community where her family’s foundation was based.”  

Despite her best efforts, Ellie has indeed found her way back to the foundation and now serves as Vice Chair. During a session at the forum, she shared some of the experiences that helped her become an active and engaged board member: 

1. Her siblings and cousins were invited to join the foundation, which she did not expect. 

2. Discretionary grants were made available from day one to empower personal interests in giving. 

3. Non-family staff and experts were available and willing to answer any and all questions about philanthropy. 

4. Shadowing the investment committee helped her to learn the more technical aspects of philanthropy. 

You may not be able to draw your next generation back to your foundation’s home community. But you can definitely ensure that they have all the governance resources they need to become active and engaged trustees. Check out Generations Together Module 2: Unit 7 for NCFP’s best activities and information about great governance.  

If you’re part of your family’s next generation and you’re not yet sure how to get started in philanthropy, check out Generations Together Module 3: Unit 5 for a wealth of resources designed specifically to help get you going!