Philanthropy A Family Affair

The Douglas family found itself in the fortunate position to be able to focus on their philanthropy with a more intentional strategy, and, in 2003, Patricia Douglas had a year-end windfall from the sale of her law practice and her interest in the building the law firm occupied. They weren’t ready to make a final decision on where the money should go but needed a year-end plan.

“Just like we were saving for our children’s educations and our retirement, we knew we wanted to save for charitable giving, but we weren’t sure what to do” Patricia said.

Their CPA introduced them to the Community Foundation Tampa Bay. Brad and Patricia set up a donor advised fund with the Community Foundation by the end of that year to get immediate tax savings. With a donor advised fund, they then had the time to decide how and where to give more strategically.

The more they learned about Community Foundation Tampa Bay, the more they realized what a valuable asset the Foundation was for the Tampa Bay region and for givers like them.  

Patricia joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and remains involved in various leadership capacities.

In 2013, Patricia and Brad became one of the first families to establish a Family Foundation within the Community Foundation Tampa Bay. Doing that has allowed them to involve their children, Maren, then 19; Jack, then 17; and Anders, then 13.  

Working with Community Foundation staff helped Patricia and Brad become comfortable talking with their children about money and philanthropy. They have had amazing conversations with their children about giving through the years, according to Patricia. Those discussions help them see the world and its needs from their children’s perspective.  

“It’s been an eye- and brain-opener and redirected a lot of our giving,” Patricia said.  

For the Douglas family, philanthropy is now truly a family affair.