When I look back at my childhood, philanthropy was a central tenant in our family. However, it was never named as such. My parents told us stories of how their own parents took care of their extended families and contributed to their communities. Through these stories and their own actions, my parents instilled in us the importance of giving back, or paying it forward. In my parent’s case, actions spoke louder than words; they rarely verbalized the importance of giving back. Instead, they embodied this value in their actions, both large and small.

So when my parents decided to create a family foundation, there was very little discussion: it was simply the logical next step, a way to formalize what they had already been doing for years. A few years in, however, my parents decided that perhaps there was a way to run the foundation that would allow them to be more impactful in their philanthropy. Prior to this, they had been primarily writing checks to organizations they or their friends felt strongly about. These were all good causes, but they realized they weren’t sure of the impact their dollars were having. When I joined my family’s foundation, my father expressed a desire to be more strategic in our philanthropy, with the purpose of being able to point to what value, if any, our philanthropy was adding to society.

Read the full article about strategic philanthropy by Sapphira Goradia at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.