A wealthy family’s finances aren’t always transparent to all its members. Many times, it’s only a small group of people actually involved with the money and finances who get to see the complete financial picture. That’s one advantage of philanthropy in a wealthy family’s dynamic: Not only does it help the family build a legacy, but it offers its younger members new ways to get involved regardless of the motivations for or the charitable vehicles used in each family’s giving.

Philanthropy is a framework that facilitates bonding as family members of different generations work together to identify their core values, locate shared goals and passions, and deploy assets in a way that creates impact and aligns investments with intent. Philanthropic activities can also help families teach younger members the skills they might need later to take on bigger roles in family enterprises.

When you help your clients align their philanthropic goals with their wealth management and legacy planning, they’re better equipped to forge the multigenerational connections they’ll need to ensure long-lasting wealth and impact for generations to come.

You can use the following insights to guide your charitable clients as they engage younger family members in their philanthropy and, ultimately, strengthen their family legacy.

Embrace The Opportunity
By involving younger family members in the decisions and planning, your clients seize a pivotal chance to connect shared history, stories, ideals and values across the generations. Many families can set the stage for the growth, connection and maturing that occur when rising family members step into leadership positions—or help create new ones.

Your clients’ charitable mission can only improve when they let new voices blend in, people with new strengths who can forge new roles and directions in the giving efforts. When decision-making bodies are more diverse, they make better decisions, whether they are working in formal governance structures (like a family foundation’s board) or making informal efforts (perhaps in dinner-table conversations). By involving newer family members in giving, your clients not only offer the next generation learning experiences but ensure the continuity of the grant-making effort and strengthen its impact.

Acknowledge The Challenge
It’s a fact: Navigating family dynamics is hard but necessary. Your clients and their family members may not have identical values, so it can take some work for you to discover which ones they have in common. Reaching that point means they must take stock of their individual interests and beliefs and then create a common, shared vision with which they can all move forward. It’s a given that they’ll all have different views; the challenge is to figure out how to align these views in the best ways.

It’s also important to recognize that a family’s philanthropy often mirrors its culture, dynamics and communication styles. To overcome the challenges of working together, family members must be able to communicate clearly with one another about their differences and similarities—and to navigate around any dysfunction.

One approach is to start early with education. Younger members should be involved with choosing the charities if they are going to understand their family’s philanthropic priorities. It can also be instructive to have kids and young adults join site visits to nonprofits or events sponsored by the organizations the family is choosing to help.

It’s natural for tensions to arise when some people feel more empowered to make decisions and others feel less so. Family foundations that have been run solely by their founders, for instance, may find it difficult to transition to a more democratic process as new generations become involved.

That’s why it’s preferable to create a formal process for bringing in family members, a process that brings objective criteria to a transition that so often involves subjective viewpoints. Such a formal approach to crucial transitions is better than, say, an informal family discussion. Otherwise, it can be hard for the younger generations to step into leadership roles if they feel they don’t have clear authority to question, challenge and make decisions. This means families should put governance practices and decision-making structures in place, formats that give next-gen family leaders a solid base when learning how to engage, integrate and contribute.

Plan Transitions Carefully
The older generation should take the time to discover their offspring’s passions and find roles for them in their philanthropic endeavors, matching the roles with younger family members’ interests and leadership abilities, finding out who has the enthusiasm, education and drive for various responsibilities. That kind of thinking will help a family’s legacy survive and thrive.

One of the current questions that family foundations are grappling with is whether to bring outsiders into the fold, a trend noted by the National Center for Family Philanthropy. It’s not always easy for an outside party to walk into a family setting, so your clients must have good reasons for bringing in new faces and be able to communicate the ways these people would bring value and new expertise to the table. You should advise your clients to be mindful of these actions, whatever they are, because the family is laying the groundwork for its legacy—not to mention the next stage of its philanthropic work—and defining what it wants its messaging to the world to be.

When you help your philanthropic clients involve children, grandchildren, etc., in the planning, you’ve become instrumental in helping them build a lasting legacy.

Hannah Shaw Grove is chief marketing officer for Foundation Source, the nation’s largest provider of specialized support services for private and family foundations.