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Issue 1 | January 2020
Watermark Celebrates Milestones...
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
(Le Guin)

Milestones are important markers, giving us opportunity to celebrate, give thanks, and reflect. 2020 celebrates Watermark's 10th anniversary, having become a platform in Canada and across the Caribbean to help those who give, give well. Thank you for your trust and confidence.

It also marks my 25th year of service in the charitable and philanthropic communities. I'm grateful to remain on the front lines of where and how change happens.

Lastly, I reflect on successfully defending and completing my doctoral dissertation on family philanthropy governance. I'm motivated to make what I learned count, bridging academic exploration with real life experience - to help families, and the organizations and advisors who engage with and support them.
At this special time, I also acknowledge you, my clients, colleagues and friends. You are my partners on the journey to live a connected life of purpose.

This issue of Watermark Matters is focused on generous families. Perhaps it will be of use to you in your work and with your families.
Sharilyn and her research committee at
Saint Mary's University in Minnesota including
Dr. Burl Haar (Chair), Dr. Jack McClure,
Dr. Sonia Feder-Lewis, and noted family philanthropy scholar Dr. Michael Moody (2019).
Understanding How Families Give:
The Giving Governance of Multi-Generational Families in Canada
Families in Canada are critical drivers of philanthropy across the country; and with the increasing hybridization of giving approaches and vehicles, family philanthropy governance is no longer the exclusive domain of private foundations and boards.

Whether a family gives through a private foundation, a donor advised fund, a family or social enterprise, an annual giving budget - or a combination of these - u nderstanding how they organize themselves to make giving decisions has implications for other generous families, advisors to families, and the charities and community foundations they support.

Sharilyn's study reflects the experiences of generous multi-generational families in Canada. The exploration resulted in the development of a Family Philanthropy Governance Model that families, and the advisors who support them, can use as a roadmap to experience greater meaning, and more effectiveness, in their giving as a family - regardless of the vehicle they choose to give through.

A summary of the research is shared below, and the full study is available at watermarkpc.com . Contact Sharilyn to begin a conversation about how the findings may support your family or your work.
Building Lives of Purpose: Engaging the Next Generation in Philanthropy
Burgundy Asset Management recently invited Sharilyn to share at a client event in Toronto insights from her research and about engaging the next generation in philanthropy. Watch the video to learn about the three things successful philanthropic families do to engage their next-gen members.

Sharilyn has been engaged by Burgundy as their Strategic Partner for Philanthropy. The firm has a deep legacy of generosity, upon which Sharilyn is helping them shape a new approach to philanthropy and community investment, and ways they can best support the philanthropic needs and interests of their valued clients.
The State of Family Giving as the Next Generation Takes the Torch
In this recent BrainTrust Philanthropy podcast hosted by the Vitreo Group, Sharilyn joined Gena Rotstein and Ben Fortier for an engaging conversation on the state of family giving in Canada and what the future may look like as the next generation takes the mantle of leadership.
Your Philanthropy Matters.
Strategy ~ Family Engagement ~ Governance

Watermark helps those who give, give well and supports social purpose organizations to enhance their performance. Contact Sharilyn today for a confidential conversation about your needs.
Watermark Philanthropic Counsel