Skip to content

COVID-19: Donate to State and Local Response Funds

Leaving a “Giving” Footprint

With the celebration of Earth Day this week, there were lots of conversations about making the world a better place for future generations. We were reminded that how we care for our planet today affects those who will be living here long after we are gone. Interestingly enough, this concept also applies to our giving habits. If we are proactive, we can help the future generations through family philanthropy and planned giving.

Family at BeachWith the celebration of Earth Day this week, there were lots of conversations about making the world a better place for future generations. We were reminded that how we care for our planet today affects those who will be living here long after we are gone. Interestingly enough, this concept also applies to our giving habits. If we are proactive, we can help the future generations through family philanthropy and planned giving.

Family philanthropy, the act of participating in philanthropic activities as a family, is the main key to passing on the spirit of philanthropy with future generations.  As J.C. Penny once said, “How can we expect our children to know and experience the joy of giving, unless we teach them that the greater pleasure in life lies in the art of giving rather than receiving?” If philanthropy is part of your families value system, then be proactive on transferring the commitment of giving, not just money, to the next generation.

Participating in family philanthropy has many benefits. Families will discover what issues they are passionate about, both individually and as a group. As the various generations within a family begin to share their values, passions, and concerns, and act together, they are more likely to understand each other when they have opportunities to interact, share experiences and develop habits.  In addition, family philanthropy instills values that exemplify kindness, compassion, sharing, and empathy ―traits we look for as younger generations grow into tomorrow’s leaders.

So how do families make sure they are setting the best examples for future generations? The first step is joining your family together and leading them in discussions that surround philanthropy. If you need ideas to springboard the conversation, our Talk About Giving game and blog has questions to get you started. Once you are more comfortable as a family discussing philanthropy, you can implement ideas and actions into your daily life, creating an example from your actions and your words.

Another way to care for future generations is through planned giving. Planned giving is the transfer of assets to a designated nonprofit organization during a lifetime or as part of an estate plan. You do not have to be wealthy to make a planned gift. There are many assets that make great gifts: life insurance policies, real estate, stocks, business holdings, etc.  Through planned giving you can create your own legacy, ensuring the causes and organizations you care about today will continue to thrive in the future.  If you are interested in learning more about planned giving, please do not hesitate to visit our website at www.yourfoundation.org/willsguide.

Through setting a good example, having open and honest conversations about giving with our families, and planning for the future, we can teach future generations the value of giving. Our actions and habits for giving today affect the leaders and quality of life for tomorrow’s generations. If we are diligent about our philanthropic work, we will leave a “giving” footprint that will influence others for many generations to come.