07 Nov 2017 CAUSE & EFFECT: Don’t Miss a Chance to Talk Turkey about Philanthropy
In just a few short weeks Southwest Floridians will be gathering around Thanksgiving tables with friends and family.
I am in the gratitude business so you can imagine that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. An entire day to celebrate current blessings and to recognize the continual hope of good things to come in our lives and our communities.
It is easy to cast our thoughts to the utopian image of families gathered around a bountiful feast. Plenty of food and love to go around. But that is not the case for everyone in our region and Thanksgiving can cause feelings of loneliness and shed light on what is lacking.
Often family struggles and strained relationships are served up on this day and instead of looking forward to the gathering some head into the holiday with dread.
Whenever we gather around a table and a conversation gets started there are bound to be many points of view. Even in the closest knit families I have discovered there are sometimes rules about off limit subjects that have a history of of going down a negative path.
But getting together over the Thanksgiving holiday also gives us a chance to speak with our families about subjects that are near and dear to us. And to share our plans and thoughts about the future.
With so many seasonal residents whose families live in other parts of the country, the Thanksgiving holiday marks a time for many to have the whole crew in one place which can provide a backdrop to discuss dreams and share values around giving and philanthropy.
Talking about how a family can work together to change the world is great bonding experience.
So don’t miss your chance to talk turkey about philanthropy, which isn’t about money but rather the love of humanity.
Spend a little time talking about the family’s history of giving. This could be sharing about how you have spent time volunteering with local nonprofits or how you decided to make your last charitable contribution.
Here are a few ways to get the conversation started:
- Go around the table and ask each family member what cause (not organization) is important to him/her and ask why.
- Then as a family, try to answer some questions together as a group, such as:What change would we like to see in the world?
How would we like to be remembered?
What are the most important values we share in common?
These questions may seem simple, and yet they can evoke rich discussions—ones that may bring your philanthropic mission and goals into focus. And holding these important conversations now may help you and your family members stay inspired over time.
At the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, our team works with families in many different ways from developing family philanthropic mission statements to providing field trips for family members to see the work of nonprofits in the region that may interest them to administering their families’ grants, and much more. We have resources available to help preserve family legacy.
Tis the season to talk turkey, and if you need a little help, we are here. Just think of us as simply passing the cranberry sauce.
About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created over 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, last year the Foundation invested $5 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of $111 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $69 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. Based in Fort Myers, the Foundation has satellite offices located in Sanibel Island, LaBelle (Hendry County), and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, visitwww.FloridaCommunity.com or call 239-274-5900.