The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Philanthropy and a spirit of generosity has long been a focus for Legacy Family Office. We know first-hand how generous, you, our clients, are and we want to show our support for your thoughtfulness in our community.
In our decades of supporting clients, we have seen that, for even the most organized of us, meeting one’s annual giving goals rarely happens. This is the case not because people lack generosity, but because business, family, and life can be very pressing and managing our charitable giving often is not.
Research shows that less than half of wealthy donors have a giving strategy or budget in place. It also shows that “more-engaged donors are more personally fulfilled and more generous”.
You are already having “budget” discussions with your advisors. So, what are the components of a simple, effective, and meaningful giving strategy?
1. Clear charitable priorities – do you know what you want to change in the world? Have you ever been asked what you want to change in the world? We have all been asked if we would like to support a specific cause and have done good things in saying yes. It is our belief, though, that great satisfaction and deeper motivation can come from giving to the causes that are most personally meaningful for you.
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- When you hear of local or world events, or witness an injustice, what moves you most? With what have you been most troubled? Or where have you been moved by hope for change?
- Is there anything that you would like to preserve or change in your lifetime?
- Has a happy or tough memory in your life informed your giving priorities? Is there anything you would like to change in the world as a result of your life experiences?
If you really want to dig in, Legacy Family Office can take you through a more thorough process to determine your areas of causal interest. Just ask one of our wonderful consultants.
2. Research – who is doing the work you’ve identified as important to you? This one can be daunting. There are more than 85,000 charities in Canada, most of which, are doing very important and good work. Legacy Family Office offers charitable research to our clients. Let us do the groundwork, so you can scratch ‘research’ off your list.
3. Your personality – reflect on what will motivate you to see your plan through. Setting yourself up for enjoyment and motivation in the process will mean that you’re more likely to follow through on your goals. If social situations are more depleting for you than energizing, set up a plan where charities will approach you only by email rather than in person. If you love events, let the charities you support know that they are welcome to invite you. If you would like to give and “never hear from the charities again,” let them know that.
4. A giving calendar – give at the time of year that works best for you. In our experience, many find it hard to follow through with our “non-urgent” items without some sort of plan on the calendar.
Therefore, some clients find it’s easiest to plan for their giving when the rest of life isn’t competing with their charitable inspiration, so they decide to do the bulk of their giving when they’re on vacation.
Other successful donors let their charitable partners know what time of year works best to approach them for support. Some take the pressure off everyone and let their favorite charities know that a gift will arrive each year around the same time, for the same amount, for a number of years.
5. Reporting. For gifts over $10k per year, it is perfectly appropriate to ask charities to let you know how it’s going in a couple of paragraphs, a page, a Zoom call, or a video. Tell them specifically how you would like to keep in touch and when. This helps them to plan and creates the timing and format that works best for you.
These are just a few tips, but we know that they will help from our many years advising clients on their giving strategies. Our hope is to support you so that you can impact the things that are important to you in the most meaningful and effective ways. Please contact us to further discuss your opportunities and challenges.
[i] Bank of America and Indiana Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. (2018). The 2018 U.S. Trust study of high Net-worth Philanthropy. Retrieved from https://www.privatebank.bankofamerica.com/articles/2018-us-trust-study-of-high-net-worth-philanthropy.html.