With so many people needing so much help right now, parents and grandparents have a unique opportunity to teach younger family members the value of giving back.
Seeing your values in action could motivate your children, and even grandchildren, to include philanthropy in their personal and financial goals as they approach adulthood.
And including younger relatives in your charitable initiatives could broaden your perspective on the challenges we’re facing and potential new solutions.
Here are three ways to make giving an activity that will bring your family closer together while making a real impact on the world.
1 – Volunteer together.
Resources are getting stretched thin at charitable groups right now. But perhaps the most in-demand resource is good volunteers, something the Isle of Man has always excelled in providing in the past but will impact many charities.
It is well known the Island has a huge number of charities for the numbers of available volunteer resources.
It can seem to some that Fundraising is now a ‘career opportunity’/and often guidelines and application forms amount to dozens of sheets of paper.
Perhaps when you realise that Charity constitutions often place huge potential liabilities on trustees and sometimes, without their knowledge. Being fully aware is vital, but a valuable learning opportunity, done right.
Social distancing recommendations made it very difficult for some organisations to open their doors locally, and the 100+ days of no cases will have given all the time to prepare for any return to this having learned from further afield.
Many would-be volunteers are still reluctant to step outside their household bubbles. However, moving some critical operations online has created new kinds of virtual volunteering opportunities as well.
If your family is still spending most its time at/working from home, you could all take a turn at the computer donating your unique talents; whether it is volunteering as reading tutors or help with basic remote administrative tasks.
Your daughter’s photo editing skills could come in handy with a graphic design project. Your son might have an innovative idea for spreading the word about an important campaign on social media, or even know how to edit a Wix website still showing a copyright date of 2016!
Whether in-person or online, volunteering together can be a powerful family bonding experience. It can also help reinforce giving back as a family value that children will want to carry on.
2 – Design a family donation strategy.
For many couples, charitable giving isn’t just a matter of doing good – it’s an integral part of their financial plan.
Giving your children or grandchildren a voice in how and where you donate could be an important lesson in both budgeting and the true value of money.
You could also use this discussion as an opportunity to share some family history.
Explain to your children what your parents and grandparents taught you about giving. Tell stories that inspired you and your spouse to start giving and explain why you’ve chosen particular causes or organisations.
Ask your children or grandchildren what causes are important to them and discuss including those causes in your charitable budget.
Another important topic you might touch on is how you’ve vetted charitable recipients.
Children who are old enough for social media are bombarded with crowdfunding campaigns and well-produced pleas for help which are no more than scams.
If they have their own bank or credit accounts, it’s all too easy for them to click SEND.
Remind your kids that larger, established organisations have pipelines and oversight that ensure their money reaches people who genuinely need it.
3 – Start your family foundation.
Some couples establish charitable trusts or sustained giving through their estate plans. But if you have long-term philanthropic goals, why wait?
Family foundations, trusts, charities, and nonprofit organisations come in all shapes and sizes.
An annual golf tournament or foodbank drive could grow into a meaningful event that draws significant community involvement.
Suppose you want to establish a larger foundation. In that case, you could include smaller discretionary or donor-advised funds that your heirs can use to spearhead their initiatives under the family banner.
Whether your family decides to give back through volunteering, philanthropy, or some combination, your charitable plans will affect your financial plan as well.
Careful budgeting of your time and your assets could impact when you decide to retire and the things you want to accomplish once you do.
Let’s talk about your family’s giving goals and how our Life-Centered Planning process can help you achieve them.
That’s all for this week. Local schools go back next week, yippee! And our quarantine period is reducing from 14 to 7 days (plus a test on day 8 etc.)
Have a wonderful weekend.