One Family’s Story of the Work and Reward of Multi-Generational Giving

by | Jul 20, 2021

How did you spend your weekend? Vacation, staycation, trip to the grandparents, just another weekend in July? Some families make time to give together, often at least one weekend in the summer.

I spent my last weekend surrounded by a giving family sorting important issues, navigating decisions – quick, easy, challenging and complicated. Conversations were a mixture of family stories, nonprofit stories – funny, honest and occasionally embellished. Each filtered through the lens of age, experience, knowledge, curiosity, untested idealism, newly minted opinions and overall enthusiasm for the giving work.

They were one family – second and third generations – who spent the weekend together, focused on giving decisions entrusted to them by parents and grandparents.

The family gives through a small family foundation created by their parents and grandparents who hoped to make a difference in their community. Over time interest grew to include organizations serving many different parts of the world.

Often founders create a family foundation hoping to keep the family together over the years and even multiple generations. Eternal optimism spurs a giving family to work through sibling issues and across generations. Different values, ideas and opinions are woven together like fibers spun into cloth.

My weekend was the essence of the Your Philanthropy mission: Through personalized consulting and support services, we educate and empower donors to maximize their giving goals while adding purpose to their lives and the lives that follow.

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve been blessed with an enormous gift; it is the responsibility, challenge and joys of working closely with giving families. They have come in all shapes and sizes. Some have deep financial resources to give from, others small today but expected to grow in time. I’ve joined the work of giving with each family. The gift of learning with and from one family prepares me for work with the next family.

Seven years ago, I rolled out the Your Philanthropy website describing my work. My work has turned into our work as a team of great folks now joins me. We work together, serving each family. So, in 2020, I realized it was time to introduce the YP team and explain our work to everyone interested or just curious.

If you’re curious about Your Philanthropy, who we are and what we do, check out our new website.

As the weekend ended, I shared the breakfast table with the family as siblings, spouses, children, nieces, and nephews said goodbye and looked forward to their planned next steps. The weekend had been fast-paced, starting with focused work for the third generation – all in their twenties and thirties. Next was a day-long meeting with the foundation’s board reviewing letters of intent with lively and informative discussions. Lunch and dinners were an energetic mix of talk around old topics with new perspectives, definitions and ideas. Each generation explained to the other what they failed to understand.

They were a giving family at work – explaining, listening, learning, and preparing for more giving together.

Check out the Your Philanthropy website to learn more about how we can help you accomplish your giving goals, engage family and make an impact on what matters most in your community or world.

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