Many parents and grandparents look to pass on their values and charitable practices to the next generation. Because conversations around wealth and philanthropy can be a source of family discord, it can be helpful to engage third-party, such as the Winona Community Foundation, to facilitate the conversation.

By being part of the discussion–whether formally or informally, at the table or behind the scenes–the staff at the Winona Community Foundation can help families resolve issues and smooth out the edges around common intra-family challenges, including communication, decision-making, and charitable giving.

Here are a few of the ways the Foundation staff can help:

–Serving as a coach to foster thoughtful, intentional, and inclusive family conversations, even if we are serving simply in an “ice-breaker” role.

–Offering guidance from the position of a facilitator to assure that all voices are heard, particularly as views across generations can differ.

–Helping a family structure a series of discussions that employ a phased-in or “dimmer-switch” approach, beginning with values-centered discussions to identify common ground and progressing to systematic funding and allocation conversations and decisions.

The Winona Community Foundation can work with a family under a variety of circumstances. For example:

–Some families leverage the Foundation for the full suite of its charitable giving services, often using a donor-advised fund in much the same way they’d use a private family foundation, only with increased privacy and no need to create a separate legal entity, thanks to our umbrella 501(c)(3) status.

–Many families have found that a donor-advised fund at the Winona Community Foundation meets all of their charitable giving needs, and they appreciate us taking on the administrative burden associated with tax filings and administration.

–Some families enjoy organizing their charitable giving through both a private foundation and a donor-advised fund with us. The staff at the Foundation can serve as a sounding board for grant making from both vehicles and also work with a family’s tax advisors to help optimize the role and use of each vehicle.

By consulting with the staff at the Winona Community Foundation, and leaning into the structure that’s right for them, families can help their favorite community causes—and keep the peace across generations.