Why Family Philanthropy?
“The joy of giving can only be learned through personal experience. It cannot be learned academically. In order to truly discover the joy of giving, you must make a gift,…. Giving is one of life’s great immutable principles.”
(Joanne Grant, Getting to the Heart of the Matter)
Starting early. Mark and Kathy Cleary of Rochester believe that the impetus to give can be learned by children as they grow and develop. Kathy Cleary (above) shares a heartwarming story of engaging their young sons in giving back to their community.
Family philanthropy is about inviting your children and other family members to understand, share, and build on your charitable values and interests.
It includes learning about charitable opportunities and community issues together, visiting or volunteering for a charity that you care about, and then recommending contributions (grants) and finding out how they’ve made a difference. It reflects the interest and passions of family members and can bring your family together in new ways.
Bob and Katie Sykes took a unique approach to involving their adult children in giving. The Brighton couple closed their fund and diverted the balance into four donor advised funds, one for each of their children and their spouses. The extended family now enjoys regular grantmaking opportunities. Read their story.
Younger children may start on the road to philanthropy by sharing toys, volunteering their time,or writing letters to cheer up people who are sick.
Looking for ideas to involve your children? For volunteering opportunities, check out VolunteerMatch.org. This new version of Giving Opportunities, compiled by our staff for fundholders, contains information on local nonprofits that have specific needs to continue their great work in the community. It also highlights agencies' "Wish Lists" of items needed for the holidays or every day.