As a philanthropist, you know the value of giving to charitable organizations. But does your family understand the true value of what you are doing?
Sometimes, a donor’s family might balk at the idea of charitable giving, saying that the money would be better spent on family needs and activities, such as a college fund for the donor’s child or grandchild or a larger home for the family. Some family members might even become outright hostile, accusing a donor of caring more about strangers than his or her loved ones. Finally, a donor might find his or her family to be apathetic about his or her charitable efforts – possibly giving a nod of acknowledgment but no real effort to contribute or support the donor’s decision.
If your family isn’t supportive of your decision to give to charity, it could be because they don’t understand all that you are doing. Take the time to discuss your current and future donation plans and offer them the opportunity to take an active role in giving.
When your children are young, it is easy to get them involved with your chosen charity. Start at home by demonstrating a charitable attitude and leading by example. If it is possible to do so, bring your child to an event with your organization so he or she can see what the organization does first-hand. This can be especially fun for the little ones if your organization involves animals or nature. For older children and teenagers, attending a charity gala can make them feel sophisticated and mature.
Stress to your adult children that your decision is your choice to freely make and do not allow them to make you feel guilty about doing so. Your money and possessions belong to you and you alone.
It can be difficult to get your spouse on board with your giving because as a married couple, much of your property and finances are shared. Talk to your spouse about why giving to charity is important to you and work with him or her to fit your contribution into your family budget. Listen to what your spouse has to say as well and understand his or her point of view.
Other Family Members
Your siblings, parents, and other family members like in-laws, aunts and uncles, and cousins might also have negative or neutral opinions about your charitable efforts. If this is the case, take the time to explain to them why you chose to give and offer to take them to an event with your organization to show them what it does. After experiencing your organization for themselves, your family members might develop new ideas about giving. Another way to get your extended family involved with your charity of choice is to make donations in their names at holidays rather than giving gifts. Explain to them that you are giving the gift of support for the groups and individuals who need it most.