The 4 Ts of philanthropy
While financial contributions are tremendously valuable, there are numerous ways for wealthy families to give back. Applying the 4 Ts of philanthropy can give family offices a more holistic approach to managing their philanthropic activities effectively.
Family members can contribute their time and expertise to support charitable causes. Family offices can facilitate this by identifying opportunities for volunteering and providing resources and support for family members who wish to get involved in philanthropic activities.
If time is limited, contributing unique skills, knowledge, and abilities can sometimes have a more positive impact than a financial donation. Family offices can employ family members’ particular skills, expertise, and experience to help philanthropic causes. That might include finding areas where family members can support charitable organisations with their skills in financial management, legal services, or marketing and communications.
Treasure refers to the financial resources donated to support charitable causes. That can include making one-time or recurring donations. Family offices can facilitate giving to charitable organisations that align with their values and engage in planned giving through wills, trusts, or other estate-planning vehicles.
Family offices might use their connections and networks to help philanthropic organisations. For example, they could collaborate on projects with other charitable groups and contributors. Or they can use their influence to promote issues that are important to them.
The last T, which stands for Testimony or “truth-telling,” is often left unmentioned. But it refers to honouring the lived experiences of those facing hardships and bearing witness to their story. For example, if a family member suffered from a mental illness or battled substance abuse, sharing those experiences can help to raise awareness and inspire action for a cause. Shared experiences can be a powerful building block for establishing a family office’s philanthropic endeavours.