The UHNW Institute’s October Theme: Social Impact & Philanthropy

Each month, The UHNW Institute identifies a specific industry theme to emphasize. Much of the content and programming we highlight and produce will focus on the chosen theme.

All monthly themes can be found in the 2023 Programming Calendar here.

The best month of the year is here— cooler temperatures, the leaves are changing colors, our work and play schedules are filling up, and best of all, apple cider doughnuts are here! Speaking of schedules, please register for the 3rd Annual Symposium on November 13 & 14 in NYC.

But first, October has plenty of great content in store as we explore Social Impact and Philanthropy one of the Ten Domains of Family Wealth, within the Wealth Creation and Stewardship cluster.

We’ll introduce our live webinar on October 18, Turning Tragedy into Triumph: Using Impact Investment and Philanthropic Initiatives in Precision Medicine to Advance New Cures, moderated by Edward Marshall, the global head of family office and HNW at Dentons.

Combining three domains of family wealth, Social Impact & Philanthropy, Health & Well-Being and Financial & Investment Management, we’ll explore a real-world case study, Project ALS, which seeks to find and fund a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and illustrate how UHNW families have the potential to bring tremendous financial, social, intellectual and human capital to the table to solve big problems, including global health issues.

In support of the month’s theme, we encourage you to explore The UHNW Institute’s Resource Library for related topics on Social Impact & Philanthropy, including a selection of books, articles and podcasts we’ve highlighted below.

We have selected the following resources on Social Impact & Philanthropy for members to explore this month to help deepen their knowledge and understanding of this compelling topic.

  1. Website – – Resource Generation

Resource Generation is a socially progressive organization for young people ages 18-35 that explores wealth and class privilege in the U.S. Its goal is to help young people become transformative leaders working towards equitable wealth, land and power.

  1. White Paper by William Foster – The Bridgespan Group – Unleashing Philanthropy’s Big Bets for Social Change

It is a very thoughtful piece about creating and investing in social change. Leaders from across the social sector offer their perspectives on social change, what is being accomplished, what needs to happen to expand opportunities and help more social change leaders lay the groundwork to envision and deploy transformative change.

  1. White Paper by Douglas M. Grim, Daniel B. Berkowitz – Vanguard – ESG, SRI, and Impact Investing: A Primer for Decision-Making

A comprehensive guide for individuals exploring impact investing.  The authors clarify terms, offer insights into trends, discuss case studies and identify a four-step process that will be helpful for investors in making thoughtful decisions.

  1. White Paper – Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors – Strategic Time Horizons in Philanthropy – Key Trends and Considerations

This is the first of two excellent white papers by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors on the crucial and often under-discussed area of setting a time horizon in philanthropy planning.

  1. Podcast by Tom McCullough and featuring Ellen Remmer – Wealth of Wisdom, Episode 16 – What Is the Difference Between Charity, Philanthropy, Strategic Philanthropy, and Impact Investing?

Do you ever worry that you haven’t found your philanthropic “passion?” Ellen Remmer, who has led one of the world’s most innovative philanthropic consulting groups, challenges that concern right from the start of her interview with Keith Whitaker. Ellen talks about philanthropy as a journey that involves experimentation and learning from success and failures. She also supplements her chapter’s definition of several key philanthropic terms with particular attention to impact investing, which she sees as a way for families to make the most out of all their resources, not just their tax-exempt ones.

  1. Book by Dennis T. Jaffe, Isabelle Lescent-Giles, Jamie Traeger-Muney – Wise Counsel Research – Social Impact in the Hundred-Year Family Business

A thoughtful and expansive look at how family values are protected and passed down generationally through philanthropy, impact investing and corporate social responsibility. Through in-depth conversations with multi-generational families, the authors explore the motivations for and benefits of strategic philanthropic initiatives.

  1. Book by Peter Vogel, Etienne Eichenberger, Malgorzata Kurak – IMD International – Family Philanthropy Navigator: The Inspirational Guide for Philanthropic Families on Their Giving Journey

This is a practical, hands-on guide for families anywhere on their philanthropic journey, whether starting out or wanting to revisit their philanthropy to involve younger generations. It is a user-friendly tool, not an academic treatise. The Family Philanthropy Navigator offers exercises, resources and information to help guide the planning and thinking process, encouraging all family members to work together in shaping the philanthropic focus.

  1. Book by Phil Buchanan – The Center for Effective Philanthropy – Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count

This book is an essential overview of philanthropic giving.  The author, who is the current president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), discusses some of the challenges of charitable giving and provides research-supported strategies for donors to achieve the greatest positive impact possible.

  1. Book by Sharna Goldseker, Michael Moody – Wiley – Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving

A close look at emerging philanthropy trends from the rising generation’s perspective ― the Gen X and Millennial philanthropists who may profoundly shape the world. Generation Impact describes their ambitious plans to revolutionize charitable giving for greater impact and how advisors can help them succeed.

  1. Book – Strategic Philanthropy – Charitable Planning Desk Reference for Advisors

A comprehensive resource for advisors to help them hold philanthropic conversations with clients. The Desk Reference addresses virtually every aspect of charitable giving an advisor and a donor need to discuss.

  1. Article by Margaret M. Towle – Investments & Wealth Institute – Navigating the Myths of ESG Investing: A Road Map to Success

In this article, the author challenges some of the myths and complexities around environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing.  Younger investors are actively looking to diversify; they want both return and impact with their investable funds, and they want their advisors to be knowledgeable and helpful in making this happen.  As Dr. Towle points out, “Fewer than half of financial advisors have fully integrated ESG within their advisory practices….Advisors need to consider fully integrating an ESG framework rather than approaching it in a piecemeal fashion.” The benefit of this article to advisors and their clients is significant.

  1. Article by Kristen Heaney, Beth Landin, Richard Orlando – Legacy Capitals – Engaging Families in Philanthropy 3-0

In many families, philanthropy is the domain of the older wealth-creating generation, directed mainly by their values and goals.  For philanthropy to be effective as the generations transition, the rising generation must become engaged and active. This article discusses how to generate family communication to create shared values and strategic planning for the family’s charitable activities.

  1. Article – PwC – Impact Investing for Family Offices

As families and family offices get more actively involved in impact investing, strategy and due diligence must be used to guide the process.  This detailed report from PwC is a helpful overview of the many factors that must be considered when embarking on impact investing for a family office.

If you have any questions about this month’s theme or are interested in joining The UHNW Institute, please do not hesitate to contact us.