Philanthropy Can Create a Family Story

Philanthropy is an activity that many families embrace as a means to connect the family. It is a powerful tool that can build synergy and understanding. When done as a family initiative, it can build trust, common values, and powerful communication.

I would like to share with you thoughts from a conversation I had with Tracy Gary. Tracy, if you do not know, dedicated herself to philanthropy at a young age, when she received her first inheritance.

As an heir to the Pillsbury fortune she had the comforts and opportunities few ever know. She had servants, access to many homes and various modes of private transportation. She grew up in a very wealthy environment.

But it was her parents who prepared Tracy to give her money away responsibly. This is what is important to examine. While cultural expectations and standards were communicated and adhered to, money messages were communicated as well. Tracy had a tremendous modeling of money behaviors which she developed and continued.

Instead of keeping her inheritance, she committed to giving it away. For her it started with seeing injustice as a child of the 1950s and the 1960s. This created the impetus to be a catalyst for profound change.

By the time she was thirty five she had given away her million dollar inheritance. This was not a frivolous act. She did so with great purpose and benefit to the philanthropic world. Today she has not only seeded many new non=profits, she has also guided many donors and organizations in connecting the value of giving to a strategic and beneficial outcome.

The power of philanthropy can add to your family story as it has for Tracy and her family. . Whether it is with time or with money, your power to influence and impact is just what an organization is waiting for. How will you begin?

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