Santa Barbara, CA – Mission Wealth Management, LLC joined forces with The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) to help educate clients on the benefits of a well-thought out giving plan. They put on a workshop led by Seth Streeter, President of Mission Wealth Management, and Peter Karoff, Chairman and Founder of TPI, which took place on September 13, 2012 at the Santa Barbara Foundation.
The workshop opened by encouraging each guest to “put the oxygen mask on yourself” before creating a giving plan. Once a person has confirmed that they have enough assets and resources to remain financially independent for the remainder of their lifetime, they may desire to create an active plan for giving to others, whether to family members or non-profit organizations, rather than have it be left for the government. However, determining when to give (during lifetime? at death?), who to give to (children? grandchildren? non-profits?) and how to give (cash? stock? property?) can feel overwhelming.
Many people take a responsive approach to their giving. They may give money to a family member when they ask for it, or send a check to a non-profit on December 28 because of a compelling letter they received or a fancy gala they attended, but rarely does this kind of passive approach lead to thoughtful and rewarding giving.
Solution: Look at your current giving allocation to see if it matches your intent. Are your contributions aligned with your values and are the recipients receiving percentages matching your priorities?
Not surprisingly, religion is the number one recipient accounting for 33% of all donations, with education and human services coming in at second and third.
Although 73% of charitable giving in the United States is done by individuals (vs. corporations or foundations), many individuals do not feel qualified to do due diligence on a charitable organization, yet strongly feel that they want their dollars to be used efficiently and with the most impact possible.
Solution: There are resources out there to help you. For example, community foundations, like the Santa Barbara Foundation, are excellent resources for donors. There are organizations like TPI (The Philanthropic Initiative) that specialize in helping donors and families design personalized giving strategies that meet their charitable goals. These groups offer a wide selection of giving options and can help you find outstanding organizations to which you can give. They can also help you focus on a broad spectrum of organizations within a community, or on a particular issue, such as homelessness.
With regard to family giving, many Americans who are first generation wealth, in other words have worked hard to earn it themselves, fear that by passing along too much to their children or grandchildren they may disincentivize their heirs to work hard or manage their money prudently.
WHAT ABOUT INHERITORS? For those with inherited wealth, they often want to help out future generations as they were helped. However, they may have the same reservations as those with first generation wealth. Many are unsure about the best way to approach the topic with family.
Solution: What did your parents do? Did you like their approach? Did your parents provide you with transparency regarding your inheritance, or did your inheritance hit you like a “meteor.” What would you change in your approach to gifting to family? Only 44% of Americans over age 67 have fully disclosed their financial circumstances to their children. However, you may find it helpful to hold a meeting with your children/grandchildren to discuss your financial situation. You don’t have to start by sharing actual dollar amounts, but you could bring up stocks, rental property, etc. and start preparing your family for your legacy.
Workshop participants were able to share their personal challenges and goals with regards to their giving, and begin developing their own personal giving plan. By creating intention, awareness, and an open dialogue, many found that sharing family wealth can be a positive and gratifying experience and not just an obligation. Most also shared a desire to help future generations, including grandchildren, learn good money habits at a young age, and learn about the benefits of giving back so that they can keep the legacy going.
About The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI)
The Philanthropic Initiative is an ally and consultant to ambitious and creative family, foundation and corporate donors working to realize deep social impact. For 21 years, TPI has invested in the advancement of strategic philanthropy worldwide. For more information about The Philanthropic Initiative, please visit tpi.org.
About Mission Wealth Management
Mission Wealth Management was founded on a vision to empower affluent families to pursue their financial dreams. Striving to offer something different from what other financial services firms were providing, Mission Wealth Management’s founding principles included objective advice, proactive financial planning, and coordination with other professional advisors, including accountants, attorneys, and bankers. Mission Wealth Management does not sell any internal products; therefore, the recommendations they make are solely in the client’s best interests. Their client-centric planning process acknowledges clients and their needs to help keep them on track and provide confidence in their investment decisions. Mission Wealth Management’s team coordinates with professional advisors to ensure effective integration of all financial decisions. Today Mission Wealth Management helps hundreds of families work towards achieving their financial dreams by managing their wealth. For more information on Mission Wealth Management, please visit missionwealth.com.