You’re probably familiar with this idea: Foundations are for rich people. I want to push back on that idea, because I really do believe that foundations are for everyone.
I’ve been on the phone recently with a number of people on this subject.
One was a relatively young father with kids in their preteen years. He has been working hard to teach them the grace of giving. When I mentioned he should set up a foundation, he laughed and said he thought that was for the wealthy.
On another recent call, I spoke with a woman who desperately wanted to teach her kids how to give, and to go deeper in her own giving. She’d worked hard all of her life and accumulated a little nest egg.
But when she went to her lawyers, they told her that she couldn’t do it. The size of her asset base didn’t make sense for a foundation. She went away sad.
In each case, I told them about my son. He graduated from college and started his first job. But one of the first things he did was to set up his own donor advised fund—his “foundation.”
Donor advised funds: foundations for everyone
A donor advised fund is an account anyone can set up online. It’s simple. Givers can contribute to the fund and grant gifts out quickly or build up a reserve toward a future goal.
But equally important, families can gather around the donor advised fund to discuss their giving. It’s a great place to teach children to give. Having a giving fund is a concrete way of stating the value of generosity in your family. It’s saying, “We want to be givers, and we are going to set money aside in this fund to make sure that happens.”
And did I mention it’s simple? Most people can set up a fund online in 10 minutes.
In short, foundations are for everyone. Do you have one?
Photo by Rene Bernal on Unsplash
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Published June 26, 2020