I have a friend who loves to go to party fundraisers. Her husband finds a buddy to talk with while she dances from one group to another because she loves people and doesn’t want to miss a single friend. And for her, it’s all the more enjoyable because she can have so much fun while supporting an important cause.
I met with a woman who unexpectedly inherited a large sum of money from a close friend. She wanted to quietly donate it all with no fanfare, no recognition and especially without friends and family knowing about the inheritance. She feared it would change relationships that were very important to her.
I worked closely with a client who cared deeply about her faith. Her giving followed her belief that the most good would come from supporting organizations intimately connected to that same faith.
Each story is like the unique whorls and lines of a fingerprint. It represents a giving pattern tracing deep within their personalities, like the ridges on your fingers.
Those ridges, your fingerprints, are chanced impressions – detailed, difficult to alter, and almost entirely unique to you. They are very much like your personal giving pattern.
I call it Giving Fingerprints.
After spending countless hours with donors – individuals, couples, families, employees of small businesses along with their owners, and family foundation boards – I realized each individual or group had a unique giving pattern. Their patterns result in a giving style, in decisions that are repeated over time and almost always similar.
They have a giving brand. Developed over time, it grows with each giving decision. Friends and family, those closest to us can often describe our giving style to us.
Occasionally, your giving style doesn’t feel quite right. It feels as if something is missing from the giving experience. There are countless reasons this happens over time, but the great news is that it can change from this moment forward. It can become an experience that feels tailor-made just for you.
I wrote a short e-book, Giving Fingerprints, to help everyone make their giving brand precisely what they want it to be.
It’s a tool that will help professionals in their work with clients who have a significant interest in giving and philanthropy. It’s a great addition to your toolbox, opening important conversations that significantly enhance the advising experience, for you and them.
Giving Fingerprints includes an exercise that is sure to help you find more joy in your giving and give smarter. It will increase your confidence as you make giving decisions year after year.
Couples and families that give together can identify shared giving patterns and still value each person’s unique style and interests.
It’s a terrific way for a small business that gives back to their community to include their employees in giving decisions. Family foundations can use the exercise to bridge the differences between generations.
The exercise included in Giving Fingerprints is easy to do. You will identify the style that most fits you and be able to see if your current giving actually fits your style. You will understand the brand you have created.
You can start today to grow your brand or change it.
If you are an anonymous donor, you will recognize the important role it plays in your giving style.
A fingerprint expert will tell you they come in loops, whorls, and arches. Sometimes they are tented, plain, central or show pocket loops. In spite of falling into those categories, they are still so unique that mysteries are solved every day.
That’s how unique your giving fingerprints are to you. They are your key to the joy of giving. They are a tool to help you change your giving brand. Discovering your Giving Fingerprints can help you be the unique giver you were designed to be.
Call me if you want to talk about your giving brand. And be sure to let me know what you think about Giving Fingerprints.
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