We all have a desire to live generously. Whether it be through our time, talents, or resources, we enjoy making an impact. Although leaving a legacy through giving may be our desire, achieving that goal typically doesn’t happen without a plan.
Creating a giving plan that suits your values and interests will not only help you achieve your goals, but will also promote your success in doing so.
As you start the process, it can be difficult to narrow down the causes you are passionate about in order to focus your efforts. According to *Cynder Sinclair, PHD asking yourself the following three questions, will guide your giving plan towards the most important cause to you and assist in executing your goals:
1. Identify why you are giving
Identifying the motives that drive your giving, will provide the foundation for your plan. Whether your reasons for giving are due to family tradition, benefitting your bottom line or simply a desire to make a difference in your community, every why is valid. Recognizing your why will help assist in setting goals to execute the giving plan that best fits you.
2. Determine which organizations you will give to
Ask yourself which causes or needs in the community stir your heart the most. Try making a short list of categories and then list organizations that address those needs. As you research the organizations, you will connect with some deeper than others which will help to identify where you would like to invest.
3. Choose the best giving method for you
There are multiple ways you can give to the causes you are passionate about: write a check, give assets, include the charity in your will, gift retirement assets, donate through donor-advised funds or simply become a volunteer. All of these are worthy methods. Identifying the method that best fits you will put action to your giving plan and create a lasting legacy.
Work through these ideas and continue to refine your plan. You may even want to write out a formal giving statement and plan that you can return to or adapt on occasion.
Even as you build a plan, remember that God will often surprise us or stretch us beyond our comfort zones. A giving plan is just a tool, not a rigid set of guidelines. Be humble and open to how He leads.