Impact. This is why people in the US continue to maintain volunteer numbers far beyond those of any other country. According to the United Nations Volunteers’ 2018 Volunteering in America report, more than 77M Americans volunteer in their communities and beyond – each year. Philanthropy is about making a difference, and one of the ways that we do this is by volunteering. April is National Volunteer Month, a time when the work of volunteers is celebrated even more than it is every day. Even during the pandemic, millions of people have put their own health at risk to pitch in and make their communities better by giving of their time to create impact in nonprofit organizations. Statistically speaking, you may very well be one of those people. Thank you. I have a question for you, though. Have you ever considered what will happen when you are no longer able to volunteer?
Many, many years ago I used to work in the deathcare industry. This experience was very eye-opening in many ways but one of the things that I learned was the concept of ‘finality.’ The end eventually comes for people good and bad, rich or poor, famous or not. That is one thing that we all have in common. What can set us apart, as individuals, is impact. I am referring to the impact that we have while we are still able to do so. The good news is that it is also possible to have perpetual impact.
Estate giving is one way to have impact perpetually. Leaving a gift to your favorite charity’s endowment fund is a good way to create a legacy for yourself and your family to ensure that the work continues as long as the mission is needed. And – you can do so while also taking care of the needs of your children and grandchildren. Let’s face it, the environment, healthcare, education – all of these will continue to be important to our communities long into the future. An endowment gift from your estate can help provide crucial services every year when you are no longer able to volunteer nor write a check. And an endowment gift doesn’t have to be seven-figures to make a difference – a gift of just $10,000 could distribute $5,200 this year, $195,000 over the last 99 years, and be worth $118,000 today through the magic of compounding interest (assuming an average 7% annual net return, and a 4.5% annual payout policy). The important thing is that this will translate into being able to serve even more people. Perpetually.
As you continue to give of your time, treasure, talent and testimony in service to your community, please do so with my thanks. You are making an immeasurable difference that changes people’s lives. And if you would like to make a perpetual impact, reach out to the CEO of your favorite charity to discuss how you might be able to structure a gift that honors you and your family’s legacy of service.
(Published in the Greeley Tribute, Estes Park News, & the Estes Park Trail-Gazette)