Family Foundations

Family Foundations

From 2007 to 2061, the largest wealth transfer in U.S. history will entail roughly $59 trillion shifting from one generation to the next. Through this transition, and in light of current affairs, high-net worth families increasingly want to work together over generations and through their businesses to use their wealth and resources for good. Not only does philanthropy provide remarkable opportunities for individuals and families to grow, connect, and foster their understanding of one another, families who build successful multi-generational philanthropic programs also make meaningful impact on important issues.

During this broadcast we looked at the evolution and development of family foundations. Family foundations, are established for a variety of reasons and, over time, can benefit from a reboot and a re-evaluation of their purpose, alignment and impact. Leading the conversation was Laura Coy, Head of Philanthropy, Strategy, and ESG Integration at William Blair and the Vice President of William Blair & Company Foundation.

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  • The fundamentals of how to establish and optimize philanthropic entities, and engage the next generation in their strategy and operations.
  • How to shape a shared family purpose (even if family members have differnt philanthropic priorities) through the engagement of the next generation.
  • How capital can be allocated, invested, and managed to develop an understanding of broad economic and social factors, as well as place-based and local initiatives.

About Laura

Laura joined William Blair in 2016 to elevate the firm’s philanthropic culture and to create opportunities to engage employees and clients in strategic philanthropy. Since then, Laura has taken on a global role building the firm’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) center of excellence to meet the growing need for urgent social and environmental change, and opportunity to build multigenerational purpose.

Laura leads the firm’s client philanthropy practice, acting as a trusted advisor to families, family offices, and nonprofits focused on high-impact philanthropy and companies prioritizing ESG as a tool to create shared value. William Blair believes that All Capital Has Impact and thus, an integrated approach to human, social, and financial capital can truly make a lasting and positive difference.

Laura also oversees the William Blair & Company Foundation and community engagement initiatives with a mission to inspire the next generation of philanthropists through its employee-centered matching and global signature grants programs.

Prior to William Blair, Laura was the senior manager of corporate social responsibility (CSR), public affairs manager and senior corporate philanthropist for W.W. Grainger, Inc. Laura has also worked for nonprofits in a variety of major gift fundraising capacities including the National Alzheimer’s Association, the American Red Cross, and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Laura serves on the leadership committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the advisory board of ShowerUp, the leadership council of Loyola’s Baumhart Center, and is the current board chair North Park Elementary School. She is the former board chair of the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals.