By Danielle Gillespie
The Palisadian Post
Click here to read the full article
Many philanthropic parents hope that their children will also lead a charitable life, but they wonder how to instill this value.
‘A family foundation can be a wonderful way to teach your children how to give,’ said Julie Williams Lytle, vice president and director of the philanthropic services department at Whittier Trust Company, an investment management company.
A Pacific Palisades resident since 1984, Lytle has spent the past year assisting families with setting up and managing their own foundations. Lytle and a staff of seven currently handle $730 million for 31 foundations, ranging in size from $1 million to more than $200 million. She serves as an officer or director on nine of those foundation boards.
‘We help them operate the foundation so they can be involved in the details as much or as little as they wish,’ said Lytle, who is certified by the Institute for Preparing Heirs and the Southern California Grantmakers, which is a membership association of private sector grantmakers.
She and her staff help families establish a mission statement and find charitable organizations that align with those goals. They teach families how to evaluate organizations to assure the money they donate will be used wisely and effectively. They also manage the financial assets of the foundation, the grant making, check writing and regulatory compliance.
Family members sit on the board together and hold formal meetings, typically once or twice a year. If desired, Lytle and her staff will prepare all the information for those meetings as well as facilitate them, so they are highly effective.
‘A foundation is a great legacy, and it keeps the family close,’ said Lytle, noting that when the children grow up and move to other parts of the country, the foundation is an excuse for them to get together.