Bigger Footprint – live larger in charity

People speak of reducing a footprint, but what if we can make a Bigger Footprint and change our world for the better!  Have you considered putting your name on a community- or charitable foundation?

There are many reasons you can open a foundation! Some arise from personal experience. Others from business strategies or getting tax refunds… so stay with me here.

Many today are opening foundations.  One gentleman focused on breast cancer research in memory of his wife. A family whose child spent months in hospital care is enlarging facilities for other families in similar need.

I have my own reasons, yet let’s first consider your own interests. Where will you start, to consider leaving a bigger footprint in our world and community?

As a business or family

Does your business or family have an experience that leads to giving? An employee surviving breast cancer? A loved one whose final days were given comfort in a hospice? A healthy focus on environment, sports, or music? Or the feeling that as we have been blessed, so we want to bless others.

Whatever your interest or concern, you can build a foundation gift with this focus at a level appropriate for your personal circumstances.

In a business, people’s loyalty and cohesion grow as they work together in charitable purpose. A business or group that gives together, grows together.

Values in your genes

Families grow by giving too. Not just today, but also planting your strong human values into the genes of coming generations. The strongest vaccine you can employ now to prevent estate disputes in future is made up of:  (a) sharing family discussions and values, and (b) thinking and serving beyond ourselves.

Tax reduction and marketing

Tax reasons are valuable as well. Your business could be supporting charity as part of its marketing budget. A family’s estate can reduce tax by designating an amount to charity instead of taxes.

You can magnify your tax relief, owning life insurance payable to the charity or foundation of your choice. This is part of my own estate planning. Life insurance is a small investment that can greatly magnify a tax refund for our family and future estate.

Who can help?

Your local Community Foundation has a small staff plus a vast array of volunteer professionals willing to share their expertise to help set up your foundation gift with little or no cost. I found this thrillingly easy to build my "bigger footprint" in this manner.

How to choose a focus?

Do you already have a focus in mind? Have you reviewed a foundation’s website? Or read a Vital Signs report for your community? If you are already involved in helping others, that's an excellent place to start.

For example, my family is committed to the “Early and Lifelong Nutrition Fund.” We set it up in two communities—and ultimate benefits will go anywhere worldwide. You could help us build this fund. Or reading this, you may see more easily how to open your own fund.

You can make a larger imprint for a safe and healthy community.  Our “Early and Lifelong Nutrition Fund” has three areas where we focus for children, families, and seniors.  When nutrition is coupled with socialization and learning, we can encourage physical and social health together.  These are the themes of the Early and Lifelong Nutrition Fund.

Your passion, your "bigger footprint"

What service or needs have got you involved in the past? What’s new in your life since then? What is most vital for you, that would engage you in philanthropy? Please share this with us; we can probably encourage each other.

Start with your own Passion, the areas where you are already giving or feel you can contribute. How directly do you want to be involved? Do you want it open for family or business to continue participation in this fund? Your community foundation can continue to manage your fund by the purposes you’ve given, with or without a family’s involvement.

Your bigger footprint can endure

What is your footprint today? What is your footprint on the future? Consider how even a modest program with your local Community Foundation can invigorate your family or business, as well as greatly magnify values in your estate.

More in our learning modules at:
Amazon or Kindle:   "A Lifetime Of Wealth -- And How Not To Lose It."
Brian Weatherdon, MA CFP CLU CPCA MDRT


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