Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Let's Talk Family Enterprise

Dec 8, 2020


Welcome to Let’s Talk Family Enterprise, a podcast that explores the ideas, concepts and models that best serve Family Enterprise Advisors (FEAs) in supporting their clients.

All views, information and opinions expressed during this podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Family Enterprise Exchange or its employees.



Guest host Steve Legler speaks with Dr. Sharilyn Hale, President, Watermark Philanthropic Counsel, to learn ways that Canadian families are effectively using philanthropy to create meaningful multi-generational legacies.


Guest bio

Dr. Sharilyn Hale helps those who give, give well. As President of Watermark Philanthropic Counsel, she enables philanthropists and their families to unearth and achieve their philanthropic goals, and helps social purpose organizations deepen their performance. She is a 21/64 advisor to support multi-generational philanthropic families, and in her recent doctoral research on family philanthropy governance in Canada she developed a framework that helps families approach their giving in a meaningful way that works.

Find out more about Sharilyn here.


Key Takeaways

[0:27] Guest host Steve Legler welcomes Dr. Sharilyn Hale, who shares a bit about her background and her doctoral work in family philanthropy.

[3:43] Dr. Hale touches on how family philanthropy and governance intersect and how governance differs in corporate and family contexts.

[6:03] Dr. Hale describes how philanthropy can serve as a bridge for discussion and a place for people to have a meaningful impact on the family operations.

[8:24] Without cookie-cutter solutions, Dr. Hale shares some of her learning that advisors can put into practice to help families hone-in on what they hope to accomplish through their giving. She also touches on all of the different configurations a family can take and how it affects the discussions.

[14:26] Dr. Hale talks about the aspects she observed in very successful family philanthropies, and it often begins with an eagerness by the head of the family to generate engagement from the people sitting around the table.

[17:50] Dr. Hale shares a story of growing governance from one of the families in her doctoral research group, about how they engaged the children early on in philanthropic activities and the way it built a more sophisticated thought process on giving as the years passed.

[22:00] Dr. Hale shares a personal experience about her daughter’s generosity and multi-generational giving.

[24:13] Donor-advised funds are an emerging trend in Canada, Dr. Hale explains some of the different giving structures out there and why they could be chosen by a given family depending on what they can give and what objectives they set for their philanthropic venues.

[28:00] Dr. Hale shares one of the key takeaways from her research with Canadian giving families.

[28:47] Dr. Sharilyn Hale shares a book recommendation and her advice for advisors.

[32:02] Steve thanks Dr. Hale for coming onto the podcast to share her experience and invites listeners to subscribe to the podcast.

Share your thoughts with us at


Mentioned in this episode

Let’s Talk Family Enterprise podcast is brought to you by Family Enterprise Xchange.


Watermark Philanthropy Counsel

The Giving Governance of Multi-Generational Families

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling, by Edgar H. Schein


More about Family Enterprise Xchange

Family Enterprise Xchange

FEX on Facebook

FEX on Twitter

FEX on LinkedIn