If your parents or grandparents have been involved in philanthropic giving for many years, they probably hope you and any siblings will continue to honor this family legacy once they’re gone. How will you do that while also adding your own new story to the legacy of the past?
Start by answering why they began giving in the first place. Some families see philanthropic giving as a way to teach responsible wealth management to the younger generation. Another reason many successful families establish family foundations is because they see it as a way to bind everyone together. But this is their vision, their “why”.
Find your own “why” for charitable giving
Find your why by identifying the unique motivations and values you hold that stir up your passion for certain causes and social issues. It’s sometimes harder than it sounds and requires an authentic examination into the heart and mind. What social need have you personally seen or experienced?
For example, maybe while volunteering at a local soup kitchen last winter, you were astonished to learn a great number of the people you fed had no shoes. A memory like this can act as the catalyst for giving to a local organization that supplies shoes to homeless children in your city. Alternatively, if maintaining green space and encouraging outdoor activity ignites your passion, you may find a nonprofit that funds parks, bike trails, and clean air initiatives.
It may take several sessions of intense introspection to discover the values and life experiences that motivate your desire to make a difference. But, armed with this self-knowledge, you’ll have a better idea about how you can continue to honor the spirit of your family’s philanthropic legacy, while adding your individual layers to it.
Changing the conversation – charitable giving, your way
Your grandparents and parents likely built your family legacy through traditional giving — grants from a family foundation, attend charitable fundraising events, or simply writing annual checks to their favorite charities.
As a millennial, you’ll probably have a much different approach. Older generations tend to give to a trusted institution on the basis of reputation (i.e. United Way, Red Cross, the local community foundation). Research shows that, far from being lazy and apathetic, today’s 20-to-30-somethings conduct careful research into the charities supporting causes they care about. This research focuses on gaining clear information about how the charity uses donations and verification about who, what, and how the charity supports a certain cause. Millennials are passionate about specific causes and helping people. They want evidence from the charities they support that their giving has an impact. In short, they love to experience the special satisfaction that comes with knowing that their gifts to charity make a difference. Sharing that glow with friends through social media makes it even better. And when they do, those friends often want to get involved too.
This shift in approach to giving makes using a donor advised fund with iGiftFund the perfect charitable giving vehicle for you and your peers.
Donor advised funds – perfect for Millennials who give
You can establish a donor advised fund at iGiftFund with as little as $5,000. You receive immediate tax benefits (highest available), but you can take your time researching and deciding which charities to support — no need to make your grant in that same tax year. At iGiftFund, we are a completely independent public charity, meaning we operate free from outside influences of for-profit institutions or other charities. You decide which IRS recognized charities to support with grants and we’ll facilitate your choice — whatever it is. If you have a financial advisor, we’ll gladly work with him or her as well in your familiar way.
Contact us at iGiftFund and find out more about why a donor advised fund is right for you.