Note: Client Name and identifying details have been redacted

Making charitable giving a family affair

As Jews, we are called upon to balance the world’s scales by giving tzedakah (charity). We also want to impart our values to the next generation (l’dor v’dor). A great way to do both is to include your spouse, children and grandchildren in your philanthropic journey.

Including your family in your charitable giving journey is a wonderful way to support your most cherished causes and grow closer to your most treasured people. It facilitates continuity, not just for the organizations you care about, but also your values, legacy and family bonds. It is a great way to care for your family while caring for your community.

Where to begin

Start a conversation with your family, with the goal of creating a family giving plan. You will want to talk about what values you want to impart, what causes matter to you, and which organizations you will support. Don’t expect to cover everything in one session — this will be an ongoing conversation, over several months or even years.

Anyone can initiate a conversation — grandparents convening grandkids, grandkids convincing grandparents, spouses gathering their children of all ages together to start conversations about their giving goals. All you need to take the first step in this deeply intimate and fulfilling journey is to pick up the phone.

Here’s a tip: Spend plenty of time on the first part of the conversation, the one about values. Your philanthropy is an expression of your values, after all; they will determine who you give to, and in what amounts. Conversations about values can also help family members find common ground if they disagree on causes and organizations. Give your values the time and consideration they deserve, and your philanthropic passage will be more impactful and fulfilling.

Moving it forward

Once you and your family agree on values, causes and organizations, you will need to think about how you’re going to structure your giving. This is where we see people start to hesitate — after all, if you’re not already involved in philanthropy, how would you know where to set up a fund? Are you going to give from a checking account, or establish a fund at a Jewish community foundation? Would a family foundation or donor-advised fund be better for you? Which one gives your family more freedom and flexibility, or which ones provide better tax benefits?

These are very important questions to answer in order to have a lasting impact. Need some support? There are professionals at your local Jewish Federation who can help.

By contacting us, we can guide you through every step of the process — from starting conversations and researching giving opportunities to actually opening your fund and managing its assets. We will make sure you and your family can share and express your values for years and decades to come.

At the end of the day, everyone who’s been fortunate enough to acquire wealth in this life deserves the opportunity to feel the satisfaction of sharing their wealth and values with their community. If you don’t know where to start, or need some assistance — give us a call and let us help guide you forward.

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