“At InFaith, we have the privilege of working with different generations of donors, each with their own point of view on giving and each with something to learn from each other. This idea is at the center of our family giving program.”
- Chris Andersen, InFaith President & Executive Director
Sharing Values from One Generation to the Next
When donor Gaye Guyton’s extended family gathers this holiday season, they will share memories of Christmas slumber parties with cousins and Advent devotions written by Grandma. They’ll also spend time giving gifts to charities important to them.
This tradition started years ago when Gaye’s parents started giving grandchildren envelopes with $20 inside for them to donate. As the grandchildren grew older, Gaye searched for new ways to bolster the family’s generosity and honor her parents’ values. In doing so, she discovered InFaith Community Foundation and its mission to spread joy and change lives.
Gaye created a donor advised fund at InFaith and surprised her children, nieces and nephews with news of the fund, telling them they all would have a voice in deciding the charities to receive support. She also invited them to name the fund. Remembering the red mailbox their grandma filled with treats during visits, they chose The Red Mailbox Fund in honor of their grandparents’ generosity.
This Christmas will be just the second since Gaye’s mom passed away. The grandkids will spend time with their grandpa learning together about charities they might support. “This educational moment across generations is one of the best outcomes of our family fund at InFaith,” Gaye says.
Nurturing Lifelong Generosity
Gaye is among thousands of InFaith donors seeking a way to act on their most important values. InFaith’s 2017 donor survey revealed that 62% of donors agree that their giving helps family and future generations understand its importance. More than half are motivated to give because their family did.
“We can build traditions of helping and thriving together with kids and grandkids,” says Tracy Gary, nationally-recognized philanthropist and author of Inspired Philanthropy. Tracy credits her upbringing with inspiring a commitment to service. When Tracy was old enough to earn an allowance, her parents gave her five nickels a week – three to spend, save and invest; one to lend; and one to give away. As a teenager, she volunteered in her community. This stayed with Tracy for life and led her to help families embrace giving as a way of life.
“Volunteering and giving teaches us about feeling connected and blessed,” Tracy says. “It also creates a sense of resourcefulness no matter what our circumstances might be,” she says.
Starting the Conversation
Fond memories and family traditions, like those of Gaye and Tracy, inspire us to repeat experiences and nurture them over time. It’s the same with generosity. Giving can sometimes be made even more meaningful when shared with those most important to us, and from one generation to another.
Interested in starting a conversation with your family about your InFaith giving plan or charitable values? InFaith staff is here to help. Call us at 800-365-4172 or explore our GenerationsGive inFaith page.