The way to fulfillment in philanthropy—and by as large as a family—is the degree to which you are driven by purpose and shared values. In other words, why you give matters just as much, if not more, than what you give.

Here are 10 questions to help you start the values conversation:

About Values…ask yourselves:

  • What does the word “values” mean to me personally? As a family?
  • What’s most important? What are some of the values that have guided and sustained me through life? (Jot down freely whatever comes to mind.)
  • Where did these values come from?
  • What family stories or role models have instilled my values and worldview?
  • How do these values show up in my actions? In decisionmaking? In the way we relate to one another?

About Family Giving…ask yourselves:

  • Why does our family exist?
  • What is the purpose of our wealth?
  • What change would we like to see in the world?
  • How would we like to be remembered?
  • What are the most important values we share in common?

These questions may seem simple, and yet they can evoke rich discussions—ones that may bring your philanthropic mission and goals into focus. And holding these important conversations now may help you and your family members stay inspired over time.

Read the full article on family values by  Suzanne Hammer at National Center for Family Philanthropy.