How to Give Back as a Family: A Conversation with Senior Philanthropic Advisors Gwen Wurst and Whitney Hosty

hawkins@growyourgiving.org Individual & Family Giving

In part two of a two-part series on year-end giving on the Grow Your Giving podcast, Senior Philanthropic Advisors Gwen Wurst and Whitney Hosty share some tips for families on how to incorporate charitable giving into their holiday plans in a year unlike any other. In part one of the series, Vice President and Corporate Counsel Corey Ziegler shared five strategies to consider for tax-efficient giving during the year-end season.

Whitney and Gwen discussed some tangible ideas like inviting young kids to participate in virtual events hosted by nonprofits, downloading our Let’s Talk Giving conversation cards to spark a discussion about philanthropy with family members, and they shared how their own families create a legacy of giving back through holiday traditions – even if they’re celebrated online!

Listen to Gwen and Whitney’s conversation online, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. A transcription of this episode can be found below.

All episodes of the Grow Your Giving podcast can be found at growyourgiving.org/podcast.

Authored by: Ashley Hawkins, Content Specialist


Episode Transcription

Introduction:
Welcome to the Grow Your Giving podcast, powered by The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and our national entity Greater Horizons. We aim to make giving convenient and efficient for our donors through donor-advised funds and other charitable giving tools. The Grow Your Giving podcast discusses philanthropic topics to help you enjoy giving more. Find us online growyourgiving.org.

Whitney Hosty:
Hi, I’m Whitney Hosty.

Gwen Wurst:
And I’m Gwen Wurst.

Whitney Hosty:
We’re excited to be your hosts for today’s episode of the Grow Your Giving podcast.

Gwen Wurst:
Whitney and I both serve as Senior Philanthropic Advisors of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and its national entity, Greater Horizons. We work closely with donors and their families to help them make the most of their charitable giving through donor-advised funds and other types of charitable giving funds.

Gwen Wurst:
Today’s podcast episode is part two of a two-part series focused on year-end giving. Today we’re going to chat about what it looks like to incorporate charitable giving into your holiday season as we wrap up 2020, a year unlike any other. If you haven’t already, be sure to listen to part one to hear our colleague, Corey Ziegler, discuss several tax-efficient strategies for year-end charitable giving.

Whitney Hosty:
Let’s get started. Like Gwen said, we’re going to talk about a handful of ways you can incorporate charitable giving into this holiday season that looks a little different for all of us this year.

Whitney Hosty:
First, donate. Not a unique or original suggestion, but I think it’s more important than ever this year. Now more than ever, nonprofits need monetary support. If you have a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation or Greater Horizons, this means logging onto the Donor Portal and suggesting a grant from your donor-advised fund.

Whitney Hosty:
My kids are now seven and 10, and they have been especially excited this year to be able to participate in events that have been held virtually. In previous years, we would have left them home with a babysitter, but they’re very excited to be able to attend with us this year. In addition to learning about many important organizations in our community, they also get especially excited when there’s a challenge or a matching grant opportunity. They’ll quickly suggest that we log in and make a contribution from our donor-advised fund to be able to leverage those additional dollars. It’s certainly been fun to be able to share these types of important events with our kids and be able to talk about some of these organizations that are important to us.

Whitney Hosty:
Another I think unique suggestion this year too, and a unique opportunity is to support especially arts organizations. So many organizations have been coming up with some really creative ways now that they’re not able to perform to live audiences. We’re looking forward to a number of traditional holiday performances this year that will be held online. It’s a great way to have that conversation too. In our house, even though we can’t be there in person to be in the audience, we can support these organizations by purchasing tickets for their virtual performances.

Gwen Wurst:
It’s also great to see more virtual volunteer opportunities pop up, things like mentoring and tutoring or storytelling to young children who are learning at home or lending skills to nonprofits that have limited resources right now. I think a great tangible way for families to give back is to participate in food drives at their local food pantry.

Whitney Hosty:
I agree, Gwen. I think the tangible aspect is so important, especially for younger kids. I know we’ve really enjoyed each year, even since my kids were four and five years old, being able to spend time and volunteer at the local food pantry. I think it means a lot to children and they’re able to see, if they’re holding a box of macaroni and cheese that’s something, it’s tangible that they can hold onto and it maybe feels a little more real to them than just giving a check.

Whitney Hosty:
Our next tip works well if you’re getting together with a small group for a holiday meal or continuing family traditions together virtually this year. The Community Foundation has created a deck of cards called Let’s Talk Giving full of questions focused on giving back to the community. The questions included range from “What social or historical events have influenced your giving?” to simpler questions like “What are you thankful for?” so everyone can participate.

Whitney Hosty:
Having consistent and regular conversations about needs in your community and how your family can support local and national charities with gifts of your time, talent and treasure is really just a great way to create and enhance a family legacy of giving. You can view and download these cards on our website, growyourgiving.org, and you can either print them off or save them to your phone to have handy over the holiday season.

Gwen Wurst:
Whitney, you mentioned legacy, and I think that’s important to talk about here. Making charitable giving a part of your family’s life really creates a legacy and shows that generosity is one of your family’s values, those seemingly small things that add up year after year. That’s how legacies are created. Much like those family stories that you hear year after year at family gatherings, or maybe over Zoom this year, they create the tone and they establish that value. I love it when my kids get to hear from their grandparents and their aunts and uncles about the places they’ve donated over the year, the places they volunteered. That gives them a sense of what’s important to previous generations. In turn, they can then share that back, just like the tangible things Whitney talked about, about kids collecting food or other items. You can share those stories and that embeds that value into your family’s legacy.

Gwen Wurst:
A legacy can also mean what we leave behind for our families after we’ve passed. At The Community Foundation and at Greater Horizons, we help donors all the time make sure that their charitable assets will continue to support their favorite nonprofit organizations well beyond their lifetimes, or be made available to the next generation if that’s their wish.

Gwen Wurst:
We have a team of philanthropic advisors who are experts in grantmaking and helping families build legacies so that they can sustain charitable legacies. We know that this holiday season’s going to look a little different for everyone and our staff remains busier than ever. We are processing contributions into charitable funds and getting grants out the door to charities as fast as we can. We know just how important year-end giving is for our donors, their families, and our community.

Whitney Hosty:
If you have any questions about setting up a charitable fund or what it could look like for your family, please feel free to give us a call. You can find all our information online at growyourgiving.org.

Conclusion:
To hear more from the Grow Your Giving podcast, visit us online at growyourgiving.org/podcast. Thank you for listening.