We all hold a special place in our hearts for the charities and other non-profit organizations that are dedicated to serving our community. In gratitude for their admirable initiatives, many of us feel compelled to support these organizations by donating our time, talents or financial support. Whichever way you choose to pledge your support, charitable action is a truly rewarding means of expressing our altruism and impacting meaningful, positive change.
As someone who has had the privilege of working alongside many successful families in the Naples community, I have always been impressed by our clients’ selfless philanthropic efforts. Above all, I have been inspired by their eagerness to engage the entire family in the charitable giving process. By unifying their family members behind a common goal, these clients have not only instilled the virtue of philanthropy within their children and grandchildren; they have established a powerful legacy that extends beyond their lifetime.
You can give your family a shared clarity of purpose that transcends generations and ensures your family members are in sync with one another with the creation of a philanthropic family mission statement. This statement can clarify what you and your family hope to accomplish through philanthropic efforts and enables you to see where you are deviating from expectations and goals so you can make course corrections. And most importantly, it strengthens the role of your family in your philanthropic activities.
Of course, the elements of a mission statement are entirely up to you and your family and may combine some or all of the following elements:
- History of the family: its origins, values, patriarchs, matriarchs, business interests, public service, traditions of philanthropy.
- History of the fund: its founders, when founded, funding source, etc.
- The field of interest of the fund: education, environment, etc. and what the fund intends to accomplish.
- Program focus and specifics targets of grants, if any are to be specified and key goals and desired outcomes.
Once your family has stated their charitable goals, what is your best approach to achieve them? Though there are many ways to carry out your family’s vision, partnering with a community foundation offers some unique benefits. Community foundations bring together the financial resources of families, individuals and organizations who care about a specific geographic area and then invest those resources back into the community. Combining the pulse of the community with a deep understanding of your family’s goals and desired education process can enrich your long-term legacy. With your mission statement as your guide, this culture of philanthropy has wings for multiple great deeds.