WHAT IS PHILANTHROPY?

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By Suzanne Hazlett, MBA, CIMA®, CFP®

Suzanne Hazlett, MBA, CIMA®, CFP®, founder of HAZLETT WEALTH MANAGEMENT, is a Certified Investment Management Analyst® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional.

Personal finance involves more than the machinations of transactions, compounded interest, and the downfall of overextending. It’s about identifying our priorities and where we attribute the most value. It’s about working toward a successful outcome and sometimes failing.

Twenty-one years ago, when I was a new resident of our valley, I contacted the local schools to create a financial curriculum that would appeal to middle and high school students. It was a middle school teacher who took me up on my offer.

We agreed we wanted to create experiences over the academic term that would particularly interest eighth-graders. I suggested we ask the kids themselves what was on their minds. What about personal finance, did they wonder? They responded with lots of questions.

“WHAT IS PHILANTHROPY?” Charity and donations were familiar terms to these students; philanthropy was not. Philanthropy entails a broader scope of passion and selfless concern for a cause. We took this topic on, and we explored regional charitable organizations with the students.

It was essential to identify a cause that resonated with them emotionally. When I asked how many in the class had rescued pets, nearly every hand in the room was raised. We had our hook. The students selected our local animal shelter as an organization they would like to learn more about. During one class session, we invited staff members and a couple of their four-legged charges. The children learned the difference between a for-profit enterprise and a tax-exempt nonprofit. They gained an appreciation of the organization’s daily costs and how donations of money, in-kind gifts, and volunteer support help sustain the care and feeding of animals they shelter.

Takeaway: If charity is vital to your family, teach your child to give. Provide the child in your life with a list of charitable organizations to choose from and a proposed donation amount. With them, research the variety of organizations that pique their interest. Design the review process to fit your child’s abilities and comprehension. Then, find the cause that touches them. Visit the organization with your child. Make the gift in the child’s name and ask that the charity’s acknowledgment and thanks be sent to your child.

Suzanne Hazlett, MBA, CIMA®, CFP®, is a Certified Investment Management Analyst® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. HAZLETT WEALTH MANAGEMENT, LLC is independent of Raymond James and is not a registered broker/dealer. 675 Sun Valley Road, Suite J1 + J2, Ketchum, Idaho, 83340 208.726.0605 HazlettWealthManagement.com