What’s all this noise about philanthropy?
Randi Weaver – Good Giving Planner
Those who need, ask. Those who have, give. It has been happening that way for centuries. Why all the talk about it now? And what does it mean to you?
There are a variety of reasons for philanthropy’s elevated and more frequent appearance in the headlines, but it may well start with the fact that the level of national debt has exploded and at a great cost to social, medical, cultural, and educational programmes and other human services.
So, there are more in need who are asking. We often look to private philanthropy, in all shapes and sizes, to fill the gap.
Globalism and the availability of instantaneous communication via the internet and smartphones have brought these needs, as well as an increased awareness of war, poverty and natural disasters, to the world stage.
We find ourselves motivated by high visibility philanthropists like Jeff Bezos, Lord Sainsbury, Dame Vivien Duffield, and Marcus Rashford who through large donations have publicised not only problems but also the potential solutions. Headline news about philanthropy can be both a “call to action” and a celebration.
More people are discovering that charitable giving, at any level, does have an impact and in addition, feels good. Giving, properly timed and directed, can change communities, and us, and our sense of what is possible.
But how is philanthropy and charitable giving relevant to you? Has it been part of your family budget and financial planning? Has it been or will it be part of your estate planning?
At different stages in life, and during specific times of the year, individuals and families often give more thought to their own call to action in philanthropy.
Whether it is the desire to share one’s abundance, to establish an In Memoriam fund to honour a relative, to integrate into a new community more fully, or to take advantage of tax incentives, putting in place a more thoughtful and structured process of donating money, time and talents, increases the satisfaction of giving.
If our philanthropy is to be satisfying and meet our own very personal objectives, it must be proactive and well-planned. Most individuals, however, would confess to being unsure not only where to start, but how to move ahead on their philanthropic journey, for the benefit of themselves and their chosen recipients.
There are the thorny questions of how much, how often, and who.
Giving money away in a meaningful way is not as easy as one would think or would like. There are certainly pitfalls along the way, and it can be a risky business.
Thankfully, there has never been a better time to seek advice and guidance on your charitable giving, to ensure that it is beneficial to all concerned.
Accountants, tax advisers and others involved in our financial planning activities are expanding their knowledge about this increasingly key component of personal finance and wealth management.
There are resources available to both experienced and new donors, beginning with books and written guides, as well as blogs and articles available via the web.
Educational seminars have been developed and there is also a new breed of philanthropy advisor who can provide personalised support to an individual, family or community group in a way never before possible, professionalising and calming this often emotionally charged process for the benefit of the donor and recipient.
As always, if you’d like to start a conversation about your charitable and good-giving plans, please contact me at email@example.com.