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We’ve been having several client conversations recently about lifetime giving goals. Families are coming to us, saying, “We want to be more charitably active. We value generosity as a family and want to prioritize it in our financial plan.”

We’ve worked with many families you would rightly call charitable, but most of their giving occurs after their passing – in their estate and through trusts. While that’s also important, think of it this way:

  • How much more rewarding is seeing the impact you’re investing in?
  • How would it affect your kids and grandkids to participate in generosity alongside you?

This is why we love the concept of the lifetime giving goal. It actively prioritizes the value of generosity. It’s giving your compassion a budget.

(If you’re familiar with the concept, it’s like Profit First for giving. We do this as a firm with our Guide for Good – We dedicate 20% of our net income to charities.)

It’s incredible how some version of a giving goal gives you a vision to rally around. I’ll give you an example of the way we have this conversation in our own family (with our kids!):

  • Are there any problems or people groups that tug on your compassion?
  • Who is doing meaningful work in that space to create solutions?
  • How can we invest in them to help enable progress?
  • Is there a consistent dollar amount we can commit to supporting them?

We want our family and firm to be generous here and now. Yes, we want to have something to leave behind and continue our legacy, but we also believe in how generosity shapes us. Our world needs it, but we do too.

So, if you’ve ever been interested in a lifetime giving goal or something similar, I encourage you to take that next step. Talk to your financial advisor and ask them to show you a version of your plan that accelerates your charitable giving. If needed, we are more than happy to have that conversation.