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Professional Advisor Newsletter
June 2023
Background: Bridge in a forest with a river running under it - Caption: Bridging the gaps in muti-generational family philanthropy

Differing views within families or between generations is nothing new. One of the areas on which philanthropic families can disagree is which nonprofits or what community issues to support through charitable giving.

It’s perhaps never been more relevant than now given these realities: up to four generations living simultaneously; longer lifespans; more willingness to discuss family finances; differing social views; and the desire of older generations to set a good philanthropic example while retaining some control of assets built over many years. 

According to figures cited in a May 2023 New York Times article (subscription required), total U.S. family wealth of $38 trillion in 1989 more than tripled to $140 trillion in 2022, with Baby Boomers and Generation X holding 90% of that. By 2045, older Americans will pass down a projected $84 trillion to Millennial and Gen X heirs, with $16 trillion transferring by 2033. With evermore wealth circulating, both ideas and conflicts about its use will likely result. 

As an advisor, it is your responsibility to help your clients achieve their goals for their estate plans, financial plans and charitable objectives. As you work with your multi-generational philanthropic clients, you have no doubt noticed that even a subject as uplifting as philanthropy can lead to lively discussions and sometimes even disagreements. To fulfill your role, you will need to lean on strategies to navigate conversations about charitable priorities when not everyone is on the same page. 

You can also lean on the Idaho Community Foundation, and we encourage you to do so! Our Senior Philanthropic Advisor Lisa Bearg is a 21/64 Certified Advisor, the only one in Idaho. It’s a designation that means she has training and experience working with multigenerational families to help them hone their philanthropic giving.

Lisa works closely with ICF’s Donor Advised Fundholders, many of whom involve their children and/or grandchildren in decisions about which Idaho nonprofits and causes to support. She said 21/64 training helps her facilitate deep, thoughtful conversations about family values and how fundholders want to support their community.

“There are profound differences in the way different generations view philanthropy,” says Lisa, who has worked for ICF for eight years. “We’re able to help families navigate those conversations to ensure their giving is effective and meaningful to all members.”

Community foundations occupy a unique position in the midst of the unprecedented wealth transfer now underway: that of arbiter, guide and even peacemaker among philanthropic multi-generation families.

In addition to understanding the needs of the community, the nonprofits and programs that are addressing those needs, and the tax vehicles that can help your clients meet those needs, our team is also deeply experienced in facilitating productive dialogue among people who bring valuable, diverse viewpoints to the table.

As a secure, convenient, and trusted partner to help a family invest wealth in charitable causes, the Idaho Community Foundation can help you work with your philanthropic clients in a variety of ways:

  • The community foundation team focuses on listening to understand the cross-generational and intra-generational values of a family.
  • We ask a lot of questions about what causes matter to your clients and the origins of those preferences, both historically and now.
  • Our team seeks to understand a family’s values, and then we research and suggest potential grantee organizations or causes if the family is seeking input. We can also deeply research organizations that the family is already supporting. 

We are here for you and the philanthropic families you serve. As the needs, capabilities and opinions around wealth expand, the Idaho Community Foundation can be a facilitator of conversations, connection and contributions among well-intended but independently minded families and help you carry out your professional responsibilities.

For more information about ICF, please contact us:

Kris Kamann Rich Ballou Background: Peter Faucher standing in front of brick building Clark Hyvonen
Kris Kamann
Senior Philanthropic Advisor
(208) 342-3535 x14
Rich Ballou
Philanthropic Advisor
(208) 342-3535 x22
Peter Faucher
Philanthropic Advisor
(208) 342-3535 x23
Clark Hyvonen
Philanthropic Advisor
Southwest/South Central
(208) 342-3535 x28

The team at the Idaho Community Foundation is a resource and sounding board as you serve your philanthropic clients. We understand the charitable side of the equation and are happy to serve as a resource as you manage the primary relationship with your clients. This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting or financial planning advice.  

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Idaho Community Foundation
210 West State Street  •  Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.342.3535  |  Fax: 208.342.3577  |  Email: info@idahocf.org