Why did your family start giving?  Did you want to achieve a specific impact on an issue close to your hearts or did you want to bring your family together to pass on specific values from generation to generation? In most cases, it is a little bit – or a lot – of each.

Simon Sinek offers a very clear case for understanding a family’s ‘why’ in his seminal TED talk ‘How great leaders inspire action’ and his best-selling book Start with Why.

In our day-to-day work in family philanthropy, we often worry about ‘what’ we do and don’t often pause to consider the ‘why.’ We spend a lot of time crafting and stewarding our external mission statements to describe the impact we’d like to make in the world with partners and the people inside the issues we hope to face.

But perhaps we should also spend some concerted time thinking about the why — asking questions like Why is our family involved in philanthropy? What impact do we hope to see in our families through this work?

Read the full article on aligning your mission by Douglas Bitonti Stewart at National Center for Family Philanthropy.