How to start with philanthropy in a family business?
What should you bounce off if you want to focus on helping in your family business? What legal form to choose or where to find inspiration? We discussed this in the discussion panel on philanthropy at the Family Business event of Forbes magazine.
“Many family companies in Slovakia already do philanthropy but focus more on ad hoc or reactive support. If someone asks them for help, they will help,” says Ivana Kompasová, senior program manager for strategies in philanthropy. However, over time, many companies will reach the point where they begin to feel the need to fix the system. But often, they do not know where to start and find inspiration.
Therefore, Ivana Kompasová recommends companies ask themselves a few basic questions at the beginning, such as what topic they want to address in their help. “People approach philanthropy differently. Many want to help a school that has given them a good foundation in life. Others have good memories of a sports club, or they like to support scouts. They may also prefer to focus on issues that affected them when someone close to them was struggling with a particular problem. It will draw their attention to health care or social care,” she explains. She also adds that it is good to find a topic close to the family business and define it well.
We led one of the roundtables at the Family Business conference.
Next, we should identify the person in the company or the family who will be responsible for philanthropic activities and sets out the basic goals that the family wants to achieve. It is also good to think about the approximate amount of funding that the company wants to allocate to charity. It may be important for selecting the right legal form for the activities, whether it is the establishment of a foundation, a foundation fund at an existing foundation, or a civic association.
“Above all, find enough time in the beginning so that you can think things through. And keep in mind that you can even start small. What counts is the desire to help,” Ivana concludes.