Integrated Giving

Integrated Giving… no, it’s not typo, I mean ‘Giving’ … What did you GIVE your best to in 2018?  Did you GIVE your best to your family and friends?  Did you give your best to your employer?  Your community?  All of the above or something else?

I’m talking integration here … if you didn’t give your best to your priorities, why not?

Okay, you can’t give your best to everything … therefore, instead the question for those topics that are low on the priority list is, why you did them at all?  Why do something half-way?  Aren’t those obligations diluting your best self?  Should you look to remove the obligatory tasks, work, meetings, and trips so that you can focus on your life’s priorities?

Then, as you focus on the priorities, whomever / whatever they may be, don’t they deserve your best self?

And, as year end approaches and you consider year end charitable giving, don’t give out of compulsion or obligation, but give your best joyfully.  Give financial gifts to the priorities in your life … I know, sounds straight forward, but how often are financial gifts given without deep introspection.

To further the integration, consider giving together as a family. 

My encouragement for year end giving (or any time of year), is to integrate giving with your relationships … this is something we’re doing:

-          Offer to give to a charity an amount on behalf of of family members,

-          The amount is not important, but the process can be enriching,

-          Ask children / grand-children / siblings to let you know:  the charity name to which they’d like to give, the website (so you can research with them, especially for younger participants), and most importantly, WHY that specific organization is important to them?  (look for an opportunity for deeper discussion).

As a couple, we engaged our adult children and their spouses with an amount and asked the very questions above.  Although we’re still waiting on their specific responses; interestingly, their initial reaction was excitement to do this together as a family.  Additionally, although they all give to charitable organizations on their own, there is a renewed sense of responsibility in ‘this gift’.  They are making decisions to allocate resources from mom & dad’s pool of funds instead of their own … a heightened sense of stewardship has been tapped, very rewarding to us as parents!!

I encourage you to do the same … it doesn’t have to be a big formal process, just do it – integrate your giving this year end with others, that are a priority in your life, and give together!!