Key Points

Most family foundations go through some sort of process to define donor intent and formalize their values, whether at the beginning of their life span or after their founders’ passing. Video is a powerful tool in that process, vividly bringing stories to life for family members, older and younger alike. So how can video help foundations capture the important story of their donor intent and legacy, and use it to inspire future involvement in their mission?

With the experience of the Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation serving as the backdrop, this article examines how a donor legacy video can not only help inspire multigenerational participation in the governance of a family foundation, but also extend multiple direct benefits to grant applicants and grantees.

Grounded in research and reflective practice, this article details the power of video in preserving family stories, the goals and outcomes of the Knott Foundation’s successful video project, and some practical suggestions for other family foundations.

Key findings show that video storytelling can inspire new board member participation, enhance everyone’s understanding of the founders’ legacy, and benefit a foundation’s wider grantee community.

Streaming Media

Open Access