How do you Pass Philanthropic Beliefs and Values to the Next Generation?

Philanthropy often takes on a significant meaning for high-net-worth families, who can be as passionate about supporting causes meaningful to them as they are about making sure giving back is a shared familial value—creating an extended legacy of charitable giving.

High-net-worth families, here are some tips to help you pass philanthropic beliefs and values to the next generation.

What is the Difference Between Beliefs and Values?

Understanding the difference between beliefs and values may be confusing—though either can be used as a guiding principle in life, there is a substantial difference.

Beliefs are assumptions we generally accept to be true regardless of whether they are supported by hard, factual, and empirical evidence. Beliefs come from learned experiences and can greatly influence values.

Values, on the other hand, are abstract rules about standards or principles that stem from beliefs and can influence character and behaviors. Decisions are often made based on values.

Since beliefs arise from what we see, hear, and/or learn, you can help pass positive, philanthropic beliefs to the next generation and influence values—and thus behaviors. Here are some tips.

How Can You Pass Philanthropic Beliefs and Values to the Next Generation?

Share Your Family’s Philanthropic Narrative

Your family’s philanthropic narrative is important. Take time to tell the story about your family’s philanthropic history with particular emphasis on how your family has created a positive, lasting impact on the lives of others and the community you live in.

Invite Your Younger Family Members to Philanthropic Activities

Invite your younger family members to your philanthropic activities to not only create shared experiences, but also provide direct hands-on involvement which delivers a feeling of “I matter” in the room where decisions are made and helps them to understand first-hand the impact their actions will have on others less fortunate than them.

You can even engage your younger family members by having them suggest the next charitable activity, assess the charity involved, and talk about the kinds of charity they would choose to support to gauge where their philanthropic interests lie.

Teach Your Younger Family Members How to Evaluate Charities

Share your knowledge on how to evaluate charities to your younger family members, enabling to assess and understand program effectiveness through measurable results and not just through compelling stories when directing their charitable donations.

The Bottom Line

The challenge for high-net-worth families may be to understand how the next generation’s defined “legacy” differs from that of the previous generation. Talking to a trusted, professional philanthropic consultant in conjunction with a trusted investment manager may help start the discussions needed to align the family on a strategic philanthropic plan, while at the same time taking tax and estate strategies into consideration.

Since 1985, Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. has been helping philanthropic-minded families fund their philanthropic ambitions through creating customized investment portfolios that generate both capital appreciation and income. Our overall total return approach to investing has helped such clients gain access to an independent source of passive cash flow from dividend income which they can use to support causes they care about without withdrawing their initial capital. Learn more about our service.


Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. is a well-established Toronto-based independent, privately-owned boutique investment management firm providing customized, actively managed, Canadian and U.S. dividend-paying portfolios for wealthy individuals, family offices, foundations, corporations, institutions and trusts.

Founded in 1985, Bloom has experience in managing in excess of $2.5B in assets over the years. We believe that generating independent cash flow is central to the success of our clients’ portfolios because it provides capital for the present day, if needed, while continuing to preserve and build wealth for the future.

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This content is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice nor does it constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities referred to. Individual circumstances and current events are critical to sound investment planning; anyone wishing to act on this content should consult with his or her financial partner or advisor.

Comments (2)

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    • Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc.

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