What legacy would you like to leave your children and grandchildren?
Most people are passionate about teaching young people to be responsible and productive citizens, but have you also wondered how you may pass on your values regarding charitable giving?
Five Action Steps to Creating a “Legacy of Giving”
As a parent, you give your children guidance as they grow, but also how may we communicate thoughts about serving and helping others? How do you you share your commitment to make a difference in your community? Here are five steps to put your plan into action:
1) Start the conversation with your children and grandchildren.
- If you have children at home, find volunteer/charitable activities to do as a family.
- If your children are adults, engage them in developing a family plan or share the giving plan that you and your spouse have already developed.
- Articulate your values.
- Instill “we care, we share.”
2) Write a family mission statement.
- Consider whether you want all family members to write it, or have just a few write it to give a framework for your charitable values.
- Take your time in writing a family mission statement; the document should be timeless.
- There is a chapter in the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey that discusses how to write a family mission statement.
3) Research your causes.
- Be as shrewd in selecting your nonprofits as you do in selecting how you invest your assets. Your charitable dollars are an investment.
- Take a tour of the nonprofit.
- Read the nonprofit’s 990 tax filing or have your CPA read it to ensure expenditures look reasonable.
- Utilize on-line tools such as Charity Navigator, GuideStar or the Better Business Bureau of Houston.
4) Develop your plan and structure.
- Contact your estate attorney.
- Or contact Planned Giving Council of Houston (www.pgch.org/) to help setup your plan.
5) Implement your plan.
- Consider the implementation of your plan as one that not only benefits the community, but also strengthens the relationships in your family. You can have some great conversations with your children and grandchildren.
You can affect others profoundly, and leave a significant and important mark on the world while involved in what is meaningful and important.
- Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees by Neale S. Godfrey and Carolina Edwards
- That’s What My Mother Taught Me by Herb Mather
- The Generosity Factor by Ken Blanchard and S. Turett Cathy
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D.
- The Severn Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R. Covey
- Too Much of a Good Thing by Dan Kindlon, Ph.D.
- Wealth in Families by Charles W. Collier