Business Families Centre

Family Philanthropy Workshop

Chart your family’s legacy

Planned charitable giving and community involvement are key components to many successful family enterprises. Family philanthropy presents business families with a unique vehicle to entrench family values, create a new family purpose, and engage with the broader community in which they operate. For many family firms, the question is not whether to partake in family philanthropy, but how to get started, and to focus the family’s giving in an organized and strategic way.

This half-day workshop will provide you and your family with practical tools to identify and plan for a cohesive approach to your family’s philanthropy. You will identify how to overcome common hurdles to formalizing your family’s charitable giving, and engage with best practices for initiating your family’s philanthropic legacy.

Course format

The half-day Family Philanthropy Workshop includes three key components: education, discussion, and practice. Family philanthropy theory is blended with applied learning activities to maximize the educational experience and provide participants with concrete takeaways. Faculty-led conversation is used to introduce core concepts, which participants then apply to real scenarios and their own family circumstances during activities and discussion.

Core teachings & takeaways

  • Address the taboo topics of wealth and money and learn how to create a constructive discussion in your family around these subjects
  • Identify and explore various types of philanthropy structures and strategies, and determine which of those best fits your family’s values and goals
  • Identify and work through common roadblocks to getting started on formalizing your family’s charitable giving
  • Discover the journey other families have taken to identify their philanthropic goals and establish private foundations
  • Identify six key steps to initiate a cohesive approach to your family's philanthropy
  • Plan your family’s first philanthropy meeting


This workshop is at a fundamental level and does not require previous philanthropy knowledge. It is particularly useful for families looking to introduce or better structure their charitable giving.

Family members may attend individually or alongside other members of their family. The workshop is suitable for all family members, whether active in the business or not.

Enrollment is restricted to members of family firms. For programming suitable for advisors and other professionals that work with family firms, please see the BFC’s Advisor Programs.


Wendy Sage-Hayward

Wendy Sage-Hayward

Adjunct Professor

Wendy is an adjunct professor at the Sauder School of Business and has 25 years of experience working with business leaders and family firms. A leader in education and programming for business families and their advisors, she teaches at the Business Families Centre at Sauder and consults with the Family Business Consulting Group. She facilitates multi-generational conversations on firm continuity, next generation preparation and governance. A member of a 128-year-old family enterprise herself, Wendy is one of the directors of the board of her family enterprise, which has about 40 partners in the cousin consortium stage.

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    Sauder School of Business
    +1 604.822.8262
    Fax: +1 604.822.8496
    1600 - 800 Robson Street
    Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7