Wright Family: Power of a Family Giving Meeting
The Signatry donors Jim and Susan Wright share how anchoring their family around generosity has transformed their family dynamic and values. Learn how they use family meetings to unite multiple generations around a shared goal to increase generosity.
The Signatry empowers donors like the Wrights to bring multi-generational families together to become champions for the causes near to their hearts. To learn more about donor advised funds and other family giving strategies visit our family generosity page.
Because we had been faithful with little the Lord gave us much more. Then the conversation went along the lines of, well, what should we do with it? I said, “Well we should give it away.”
We certainly were generation one, the wealth creators. We want to make sure that our children, generation two, understood generosity and understood our commitment to the Lord’s Kingdom. So, we read and had them read several books on the topic. And then shortly thereafter, we began to, probably 12 years ago now, began to have family giving meetings between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And initially, we challenged the children and G3, the grandchildren, with matching challenges. So, they’re eight or ten years old and they save 100 dollars. They pitch a charity they want to support… it must be Christian, it must be effective, must be efficient. Then we would all kind of vote on do we want to support that charity.
And we’ve watched it grow. So, we’ve watched the kids understand now what exactly this is all about. At first, when we first started talking about it, they kind of looked at us like, what are you talking about? But now they understand they’re all just really enjoying doing this.
I think that first of all, they learned that early on to check 990s, right. So, by teaching G2, G3 to look at 990s, they realized… there are many ways to give money where it does not provide benefit. So many, many charities that start out with a great cause, but through discussion, board influence, or donor influence, they end up being far off their initial task.
And we could see here the kids are learning how to have good discretion and figuring out that you can go to many, many things, but certain things are better off than others.
And doing this with your family also brings your family very close together. It really does. It’s a neat way to come closer together on one unified idea.
The blessings just grow and grow. And it seems like at first when you start doing this that, oh my, I’m going to miss what I’m giving and whatever, but once you realize it truly is God’s, it’s a wonderful feeling to just give back.
It started with the two of us, and now it’s 21 of us. We are so, so bountifully blessed and I think our grandchildren, I know my children see this and they’re both very, very generous. Big, big sharers. It changes your perspective. You know, we have much but we want for nothing. We never talk about the next thing to buy. We talk about the next mission to support.
How can we give again? Yeah.