Imust start out this November Blog by thanking all of you for your support. I can hardly believe that it was almost been a year since I decided to break off on my own and start Empowered Worth. The support that I have received from each and every one of you has been truly humbling. I can tell you that there is an amazing feeling in knowing that Empowered Worth is changing the narrative for women. November is a time of year when we gear up for the holidays. In preparing, many of us take this time to look at our year and count our many blessings. I have many a client who has asked me about what the smart way to give to charity. I have some advice that can make the process of giving easier for you.
What do you value?
The first question I ask a client when we begin to discuss philanthropic giving is what do you value? Many times, the response to that question is “family”, yet most people don’t want to start giving money directly to family members. When we dig deeper we discover that they are talking about the things they value in their families. Topics like faith, education, or healthcare start to dominate the conversation. We also talk about things they feel passionately about and embrace in their day to day. We look at things like the environment and gender equality. The discussion allows us to paint a picture of the things they would like to support with their money.
Being philanthropic is more than just writing a check
I think in this country there is a general belief that the only type of philanthropy that matters and is effective is done by families with last names like Buffet, Gates or Zuckerberg. While having a billionaire decided to champion a specific cause is wonderful, the value of their engagement is not just in the size of the check but also in the visibility they bring to the cause. Most charities out there will tell you that the power of an annual giving campaign can many times trump any singular donation. Organizations like St. Jude Children’s Hospital are prime examples of this philosophy. They engage a multitude of celebrities who bring visibility to their annual giving campaign. The attention they receive gives them the ability to engage millions of donors who give to them yearly. The average donation they receive is approximately $45 dollars. They collected an estimated $28 million dollars from this type of engagement.
I share this example with many of my clients to reminded them that there are no small donations. If they feel passionately about a cause, they should budget for a donation even though it may be small. Remember that the ocean is vast and great but in essence made up of small little water molecules.
Giving is not something that only happens once a year.
I also remind my clients that charitable giving is not something that happens once a year. Social media and companies like Go Fund Me have made it so that we are constantly being asked by friends to support various noble causes. We may find ourselves tapped out of funds and feeling a bit bombarded because of the frequency of these requests. These are the moments that I like to remind clients that we can support our values and passion year-round and without donating. How you ask? Simple. It’s called impact investing. Impact investing is when we look at the companies in our portfolio and vette them based on how the company supports your values. Investors are now looking at companies and considering how they treat the environment and if women are adequately represented in top positions. Today’s investor wants to make a profit and feel good about the way they are doing it. Many times, I have been asked to look at mutual funds that hold positions in the environmental sector. This is a way of supporting your values and passion every day.
We will gather around the table this month and look at the love ones around us and feel grateful. An abundance of blessings have been bestowed on us and those we care about. We must take a moment to feel grateful for all that we have. Remember that everyone can give back, no matter their financial situation. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Please know that this year I will be counting all of you among the many things that for which grateful.