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When You've Finally Crawled Out of Winter Hibernation & Ready to Make a Difference Thumbnail

When You've Finally Crawled Out of Winter Hibernation & Ready to Make a Difference

Recently, I’ve been on a mission to find ways to give back. Although no one’s life is perfect, and I have certainly had my fill of challenges, lately I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings that have come my way. I don’t know if it’s my newfound practice of gratefulness every morning, or because the weather finally turned in Ohio and I’ve finally snapped out of my seasonal depression, but I have this need to do some good in this world! I want to find a cause that I can devote my time and energy to – something that really resonates with me.

As women and mothers, we have an extraordinary ability to create a positive change in the world. Philanthropy provides a powerful avenue to make a lasting change on causes close to our hearts. If you are interested in giving back, here are some tips to help you get started:

 Align values with impact:

The first step is to define your goals. Ask yourself what kind of impact you want to make and take the time to identify causes that are important to you. This is number one! Philanthropy should be a reflection of your core values and beliefs. Between trying to build a business and whatever after school activities the girls are involved in, my time is extremely limited and valuable. I can’t afford to spend it on something I feel lukewarm towards. I want to help with causes that bring me joy and are fulfilling. By focusing your philanthropy on areas that truly matter to you, you can amplify the results of your giving. Likewise, by strategically selecting organizations or projects that align with your objectives, you can make a more significant and targeted difference in the causes you care about.

Research organizations and get involved: 

Look for nonprofits that are making a measurable impact in the areas you care about and have a proven track record of success. Understand that while financial contributions are crucial, your philanthropic efforts can extend beyond monetary donations. You can attend events, volunteer, or leverage your skills, expertise, and networks to make a difference. Going to galas and bidding on auction items can be super fun, but by volunteering your time, serving on boards, or offering pro bono services, you can provide invaluable support to nonprofits and magnify the influence of your giving.

Strategic giving plans:

A giving plan can help you maximize the power of your philanthropic efforts. Your giving plan is established once you’ve defined your goals, assessed the impact you wish to achieve, and identified specific outcomes you want to support. By strategically selecting organizations or projects that align with your objectives, you can have more direct influence with the causes you care about. Part of your giving plan should include tax planning. Consider setting up a donor-advised fund, which allows you to make a tax-deductible contribution and then recommend grants to the charities of your choice.

Be open to shifting priorities:

It's essential to acknowledge that priorities and values can evolve over time. As life unfolds, new experiences can reshape our perspectives and elevate the significance of certain causes. For me, while I’ve always enjoyed animals and pets, until I got a dog of my own, animal charities were not something that was at the top of my priority list. The same with having children. Everyone wants to help children, but until you are sitting in the emergency room of Nationwide Children’s Hospital with your baby, you don’t realize how important it is to make sure they remain one of the best children’s hospitals in the country.

Being open to these shifts in priorities allows for a dynamic and meaningful philanthropic journey. It's natural for your focus to evolve and for new causes to capture your attention. Embrace these changes and recognize that each stage of life may present unique opportunities for making a difference.

Inspire and encourage others to give:

Finally, don't be afraid to use your influence to encourage others to give. By sharing your own philanthropic journey and encouraging others to get involved, you can help create a culture of giving that will benefit your community for years to come. Engage your family and loved ones in discussions about giving back and involve them in your philanthropic endeavors. By instilling a sense of empathy and social responsibility in future generations, you can create a lasting legacy of philanthropy and continue to make a difference for years to come.

The journey of philanthropy and charitable giving is a deeply personal one. The key takeaway is to pick something that is meaningful to you! When you connect with a cause that resonates deeply, it becomes a driving force that fuels your dedication and inspires others to join in the mission.

Ultimately, philanthropy is a powerful way to make the world a better place and find deep fulfillment. By choosing causes that hold personal significance, being adaptable with your time and energy, and staying attuned to the evolving needs around you, you can embark on a transformative philanthropic journey. 

If you’re seeking guidance on financial matters or looking to partner with an advisor who understands the importance of aligning your financial goals with your philanthropic values, please email me - Jennifer.jenkins@bluestonewp.com. I am here to provide support if you need help making a positive impact on the causes that matter to you. 

Remember, the power to make a difference lies within you. Together, we can create a brighter future, one act of kindness at a time.

The opinions voiced are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.