Make social impact a priority

SUMMARY

Holistically approaching social impact, whether through community activities, philanthropy or sustainable investing, will be key for families in the coming decade.


Sixty-two percent of the survey respondents say the desire to have a social impact will have a moderate to transformative impact on their family enterprises during the 2020s, however, far fewer report being actively engaged in social impact activities. This report lays out three strategies to ensure social impact is a focus of the family:

1. Take a strategic and holistic approach to social impact across the family enterprise

Every aspect of the family’s businesses, philanthropy and lifestyle contribute to their net social impact. Thoughtfully and strategically inventorying how the family already impacts the greater world provides an opportunity to engage family members and align on a shared sense of mission and values.

2. Promote and support ESG in your operating companies

Embedding sustainable practices throughout the family’s operating companies can have a far-reaching impact. We recommend engaging with the Family Business for Sustainable Development Initiative, which is a partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the Family Business Network.

3. Join the impact investing movement

Sustainable investing includes socially responsible, ESG integration, thematic and Impact approaches. Providing capital toward innovative solutions to problems that are important to the family can engage multiple generations and unite the family further.

Your questions

Prioritizing social impact can bring a family together, make a positive difference in the world and enhance the family legacy.

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Many family enterprises want to leave a legacy of positively impacting their employees, community and society as a whole.

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Integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities into the larger business model.

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A social impact strategy is a plan to strategically coordinate the social impact across all family businesses, philanthropic efforts and even the family’s lifestyle.

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Meet our people

Global Head

Karen Kardos

Head of Philanthropic Advisory – North America
Karen's LinkedIn profile

Karen provides philanthropic advice and services to families, foundations, and endowments on strategic development and best practices to meet their philanthropic goals.

Previously, Karen served for 10 years as the Director of Finance and Philanthropic Operations for a private foundation in the multifamily office practice of Geller & Co. In addition to advising clients on philanthropic strategies, she is also well versed in private foundation operations, governance, and compliance.  

Karen is a 21/64 Multigenerational Advisor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Binghamton University.

Global Head

Harlin Singh Urofsky

Global Head of Sustainable Investing
Citi Global Wealth
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We enable investors to pursue simultaneous societal change and competitive financial returns.

Harlin works across Citi’s investment divisions to develop and embed a global framework along the full spectrum of sustainability to ensure its alignment with Citi’s best thinking on portfolio management, research and asset allocation. This includes environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration, socially responsible, thematic and impact investments.

Harlin is an observing member of the Global Investment Committee and oversees Investing with Purpose, our sustainable investing platform. She is also a representative on Citi’s Net Zero Task Force, entrusted with the group’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Prior to joining Citi in 2017, she served as Associate Director of innovative finance at the Milken Institute. Before that, Harlin spent over a decade as a capital markets and foreign exchange specialist, advising ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices at Deutsche Bank and Citi, having begun her career at Lehman Brothers. She also served as an adjunct professor of impact investing at USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Harlin holds an undergraduate degree in finance from Rutgers University and a master’s in public administration from New York University.