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When Philanthropy Gives Back to You (April 2, 2015)

It’s April 2nd and I’ve been trying to decide what theme I’d like to run through this month’s posts. I landed on philanthropy but not just a ‘Ho-Hum’ here are six strategies etc. I’m going to highlight several benefits that come directly back to your family when you have a strategic plan around philanthropy and what that plan looks like. You’ll also hear about some unusual organizations that may be a good fit for part of your philanthropic undertakings.

Let’s start with an important premise. Philanthropy is a tool. It may have tax benefits or not. In the end, it is another avenue for an individual or family to express something that matters to them.

Strategic Family Philanthropy begins with WHY you want to give and WHAT you want impact.

Then, and only then, it focuses on WHO you give to and HOW you complete the gift.

I’ve experienced Strategic Philanthropy bringing direct benefit to families in four areas:

  1. Sustaining the world you love, enjoy and care about
  2. Preparing your heirs to receive financial assets
  3. Developing a Gratitude Culture
  4. Reinforcing your Legacy


Over the next few posts we’ll look at each area.

Sustaining the world you love, enjoy and care about. 

Everything you enjoy and love needs some kind of stewardship. Focusing on questions like these:

  • What about your world do you hope continues to be available for future generations?
  • Have you ever considered what it takes to sustain that?

An example I use frequently is the family ski trip. The enjoyment of that outdoor activity relies on a very complex infrastructure of people. People who want to have access to health care, education for their children and opportunities for personal growth. Supporting organizations that provide these in the resort communities is an expression of a family’s stewarding an important family activity. Applying this thinking to everything you enjoy, even if it is as simple as the view of the mountains from your home and philanthropy can move from being purely giving to being about taking care something for you and your family.


The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

The Weizmann Institute has a very simple mission, “Science for the benefit of humanity.” On their home page they highlight:

  • Fighting cancer
  • Advancing Technology
  • Enriching Education
  • Protecting our Planet
  • Improving Health and Medicine
  • Exploring the Physical World

For anyone interested in science and the broad reach it can have this site is a goldmine of information. Weizmann scientists are bringing world changing results from their labs, all with a focus on humanity.

Another very interesting area on the site is the ‘Care-Share-Repair’ section where you can see what others are doing with Weizmann and dedications via the Tree of Humanity. In the near future Weizmann will also have ‘Crowd Funding’ opportunities via their site.

Exploring the Weizmann site can be a great adventure for a family and opens the possibility of finding new ways to impact areas each family member is drawn to.



When Philanthropy Gives Back to You (April 2, 2015)