For most wealthy individuals, the legacy they leave to loved ones is more than stocks and bonds, but rather a collection of deeply held beliefs and values that shape their world view. Transferring these values to the next generation is an important part of family wealth planning, and charitable giving can be a critical tool in this process.
New research suggests that passing on philanthropic values can even increase your children’s chance at happiness and life satisfaction. A survey by WomenGive and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University finds that giving to charity raises life satisfaction across all income levels and household types, including single men, married couples, and single women (see below). In fact, the more families give, the happier they say they are, with higher scores for households that donate more than 2% of income than those who donate less.
Source: WomenGive 2017, https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/bitstream/handle/1805/14283/womengive17.pdf
Parents who donate to charity are more likely to have children who do the same, though daughters are slightly more likely to follow in their families’ philanthropic footsteps than sons.
To make sure you pass on your charitable values, it’s important to involve children early and to give them real responsibility in allocating and overseeing family donations.