Thoughts from Pitcairn Relationship Managers: 5 Traits for Effective Philanthropy

For many families of wealth, creating a long lasting legacy is a fundamental goal, one that reaches beyond the boundaries of family, making an impact on their communities and the world.

We recently joined a conversation among Relationship Managers Laurie Martin, Matt McCarte, and Karen Carlson, where they shared the key traits that have contributed to their clients’ success.



Here are the 5 key traits for philanthropic success:

0:21 - Have a clear mission

3:06 - Create a defined framework and decision-making process

7:00 - Be flexible and respectful of personal passions

12:01 - Engage in deep and open dialogue across generations

18:25 - Receptive to Outside Expertise


Take time to reflect

21:01 - Choosing to create a family legacy of philanthropy is a worthy undertaking and one that requires significant commitment and a willingness to find shared values and common interests among family members. Accomplishing this requires families to thoughtfully consider their philanthropic endeavors.

  • Is your charitable giving as focused and impactful as you would like it to be?
  • Have you incorporated the interests of all family members into your philanthropic planning?
  • Has your philanthropic strategy remained static for too long?
  • Are upcoming generations fully invested in your family’s philanthropic legacy? If not, what steps could you take to engage them?
  • Is now a good time to take a fresh look and reinvigorate your philanthropy approach?


22: 47 - There's a saying, "Give time, talent and treasure." The success of any family endeavor depends on commitment and hard work. We believe families of wealth can better achieve their own philanthropic goals by understanding and embracing these traits.




About Pitcairn

Pitcairn is a true family office and leader in helping families navigate the challenges and opportunities created by the interplay of family and financial dynamics. Through Wealth Momentum®, an experience-based family office model, Pitcairn helps families achieve a more effective and complete experience. Since its inception, Pitcairn has partnered with some of the world’s wealthiest families to meet their needs and drive better outcomes – year to year, decade to decade, generation to generation. Today, Pitcairn is recognized as an innovator, guiding families through generational transitions and redefining the industry standard for family offices. The firm is located in Philadelphia, with offices in New York and Washington, DC and a network of resources around the world.