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Giving Matters

November 02, 2023

Charitable Giving: A Family Approach


One of the most heartwarming pleasures I enjoy as a financial advisor is conducting family-focused meetings about giving. As families grow, the giving tradition rewards generations forward. Families and communities are strengthened, together.


I’ve gathered a few simple techniques to help you lead the conversation about giving with your family. Talking about money is not always easy and charitable giving can fall within that challenge. Building a culture of giving starts with education and continues with discussion.


Remember, mentoring and establishing a precedent for charitable giving is nearly as valuable as the gift, itself.


Start the Conversation

Thanks to the pandemic, virtual meetings are the norm. Charitable giving might be a good topic for the next family video call.


Try these open-ended conversation starters:


  • Which charities/organizations/causes did you support this year?
  • Did you donate time or resources? What drove your choice?
  • How did it make you feel to help that charity?
  • Is there a charity we can support together?

Listening is crucial. Make sure each person has an opportunity to speak. You may be surprised by what you hear and learn.


Sharing an elder family member’s first experiences around giving can be a productive exercise. What you support and why are important factors for the next generation to understand. Your charitable giving choices reveal what you believe in and where your passions reside. Sharing the nature of your choices builds alignment between families and communities while developing empathy and compassion.


Your Family Giving Plan

The giving habit builds and reinforces brain-based rewards — like the uplift from physical exercise or systemic investing. What is the best way to give? Encourage all types of family giving, including time, talents, or treasure. When you determine where your resources are best suited, include your family advisors in the conversation to help set your donation plan into action. The family legacy shines when you check in with your charity to measure progress. You may even learn where your future gifts may be allocated.


Consider including the priceless gift of charity and service to future generations.


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