5-Step Toolkit

Organize Your Giving with Purpose

We developed this toolkit for you and your family to cultivate your own giving legacy.

Step 1: Know Your Giving Style

With more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S., it’s no surprise that your email and snail mail boxes are full of requests for support.

Which Cause to Support?

To get started, ask these 3 questions:

  1. Do you review the donations you make to charities on an annual basis?
  2. Why do you support these charities?
  3. How do these charities align with your values?

3 Ways to Discover Your Charitable Passion

  1. Define what’s most important to you by completing the Values and Issues Inventory.
  2. Identify your interests, influencers, motivations and aspirations for your charitable giving with the Questions for Consideration.
  3. Use photos to identify your interests. Tip: The Picture Your Legacy app (free on Apple App Store) from 21/64, will help you envision your legacy.

If you are interested in exploring these tools with a staff member of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, contact a member of the Giving Strategies Team or call 513-241-2880.

Step 2: Involve Your Family

If you can engage your family in thoughtful philanthropy during your lifetime, you will achieve a meaningful legacy. Passing on your charitable values to the next generation can create a bond between all family members.

You can uncover shared values among the multiple generations of your family through facilitated activities and conversations. By developing shared plans, you can create a comprehensive giving process that creates a family legacy in the truest sense.

Giving with your family can provide many benefits:

  • Instill family values and traditions
  • Maintain family ties
  • Deepen social consciousness
  • Increase personal fulfillment
  • Develop skills, knowledge and awareness

Some may find honest communication about existing and emerging values challenging at first. Ultimately, the effort can be rewarding for all.

5 tools to explore your family legacy

If you are interested in exploring these tools with a staff member of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, contact a member of the Giving Strategies Team or call 513-241-2880.

Step 3: Create a Giving Plan

Now that you have identified your charitable passion, it’s time to consider creating a customized giving plan that fits your values and interests.

What are your current giving habits?

First, you will need to identify your current giving habits. To start, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does your charitable giving reflect the issues and values you care about?
  2. Do you choose to give based more on your heart (emotionally) or from your head (rationally)?
  3. How does your spouse (if applicable) give?

Analyze Your Giving History

Write down all the gifts you have made over the past year and indicate the purpose of the gift and why you gave.

Possible reasons why donors may give:

  • You are the recipient of the services of the organization
  • You are a volunteer, board member or staff member
  • You know people at the organization
  • You know people who’ve been served or helped by the organization
  • You know other donors
  • You have learned about the organization through direct mail, family, friends, colleagues or the media

Reaction, Obligation or Passion?

On your worksheet, indicate whether the gift was made as:

  • A reaction to an ask
  • A fulfillment of an obligation or out of loyalty
  • Out of passion for the cause or organization

The 50/30/20 Rule

Experts recommend an annual giving plan be made with the following proportions:

  • 50% resulting from one’s passion
  • 30% stemming from loyalty/obligation
  • 20% reacting to an unplanned request

In addition to your financial support, consider how your gifts of time and talent can also follow these proportions.

Step 4: Create Your Philanthropic Mission Statement

Now that you’ve analyzed your current giving with your values, it’s time to create your mission statement. A mission statement will help you clarify your philanthropic goals and establish a giving roadmap.

Tip: A mission statement should be an action statement about your philanthropic purpose

Before you begin:

How is a Mission Statement Helpful?

Mission statements are very personal and are meant to reflect your values. A mission statement describes the difference you want to make in the world.

A mission statement makes your charitable giving more effective, because you will:

  • Make a significant impact on things that matter most to you
  • Feel more connected to your charities of choice
  • Reduce waste by knowing in advance the causes and organizations you support. The junk mail and solicitors’ calls will dissipate.
  • Be comfortable saying NO to requests that don’t fit your plan.

Once your mission statement is created, you can develop a giving plan that reflects that mission.

  • Compare your giving history worksheet with your mission statement
  • Which gifts/organizations fit within your mission statement
  • Create a new giving plan based on your mission statement and the 50/30/20 rule.

Step 5: Plan for the Future

You should take the time to thoughtfully plan how you wish to distribute your estate after your lifetime.

The Importance of an Estate Plan

An estate plan can begin with the simplicity of writing a will, but it can also involve trusts, life insurance policies and retirement accounts, guardians for minor children, providing lifetime income for you or for others, minimizing taxes and estate costs or passing on business interests and providing for your charitable interests.

A good estate plan will help you prepare for the future and manage the present. It will be of great benefit to you and your family.

Typically, an estate plan is not something you do on your own. Guidance from professionals, such as an attorney and financial planner, can help you make critical decisions as you navigate how to transfer your estate after your lifetime. They can help you ensure your estate will be distributed as you wish and that your charitable legacy continues.

Taking Care of the Causes You Care About

You’ve been generous to your favorite nonprofits for many years, and they have come to rely on your support. What happens to these nonprofits after you are gone? How do they replace your annual support?

It is simple to continue your generosity through an estate plan. Let us help you design a plan that will benefit your favorite charities while still ensuring that you and your family needs are met.

You can ensure your favorite charities will receive support after your lifetime and in perpetuity through endowed funds.