The passionate generosity of countless American families has inspired extraordinary gifts. What is most remarkable is the very phenomenon of American family philanthropy itself. Indeed, many of these families are known more by their philanthropy than by the business successes that made their largesse possible. Through their philanthropic missions, they enrich lives of millions not only in America but around the world. But the fact is that the contributions and potential of family philanthropy are not well understood even by many of those engaged in the practice or by the millions of Americans who benefit from charitable gifts.