Lest you think our family is any different from yours, please understand that working in three generations only looks smooth from the outside. Inside, our family has its usual share of mishaps and miscommunications. This post was subject to one of those moments, but after muddling through to the other side, we all agree that Barb’s reflections on the following questions provide wisdom and a view pertinent to our conversation. Read more
When I think about leaving a legacy, I think about the five years I spent working at a company that provides full service mail-phone planned giving campaigns.
I had never expected to work in fundraising — that was what my father did. Read more
When I think about leaving a legacy, one of the first things that comes to mind is an article from a magazine in the 1990s that talked about a $1 trillion inheritance windfall for Canadians. The article suggested baby boomers in the US stood to inherit $10 trillion dollars over the next several decades. Canadians, the article mused, would inherit $1 trillion. The estimate was later updated in 1999 by a study from Center on Wealth and Philanthropy of Boston College. Schervish and Haven’s report cited the oft quoted $41 trillion as the figure to be passed from one generation to the next in the United States.
The initial article and later research study served to focus my five year quest for a doctorate of ministry in stewardship studies (church fundraising). It also served as a touchstone for a career in fundraising.
You are invited to a sometimes light-hearted conversation about a serious subject: leaving a legacy. Some of you might work with individuals who are planning to leave a gift in their will to their preferred charity, but most of you won’t have had the chance to overhear the family conversations about legacies they have been given or hope to leave. This is your opportunity to listen in and interact with one family, amid their musing about legacies.
Shhhh. Get ready.
We’re going to pull back the curtain on something you might not have seen before. Some of you might be professional fundraisers and are used to a certain clinical attitude. Don’t be alarmed. This newsletter is a place for us to peer into what leaving a legacy really means. From an insider’s perspective.
We begin with the moment where everything changed.
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