You’ve Got the Money: Now Make a Difference Today


You’ve got the money that you and your family need, but now what?

We all know money isn’t everything. And you certainly don’t take it with you.

So, what do you do to make a contribution to society with the money you’ve earned?

There are some ways you can get serious about helping others and creating a legacy beyond your family.

  • Set Up a Donor-Advised Fund or Foundation

A donor advised fund, or DAF, is a public charity. When you establish a DAF, you get an immediate tax deduction for your contribution to the fund, and then make charitable gifts to your preferred nonprofits over time. It’s simple to set up a DAF through companies like Fidelity, Schwab and community trusts. Minimum contributions to open a donor-advised fund are usually $5,000 or $10,000.

There’s over $70 billion sitting in these types of funds, and of course, locking the money away in a DAF is not the way to go. Getting a tax deduction and keeping the money in the fund helps no one but the person who created the fund. So, if you decide to establish a DAF, or you prefer to set up your own foundation (which means you assume all of the administrative and regulatory burdens), do some thinking beforehand. Think about the organizations you want to support, the amounts of money you want to give annually and make it a point to donate the money from the fund or foundation.

  • Become a Nonprofit Board Member

Did you know the vast majority of nonprofits operate with budgets of less than $1 million? I’m sure you’re probably well aware that charities are in need of resources. The fact of the matter is that money’s always a need for organizations in the social sector, but so are knowledge and expertise.

Joining a nonprofit board is an opportunity for you to help make a difference with an organization and cause close to your heart. But, it also helps them gain from your experience. As a successful executive, charities need not only your money, but your expertise in board governance, finance, marketing, and of course, fundraising.

  • Fund a Nonprofit Program

If you’re looking for a way to see the difference you could be making, finance the start-up for a nonprofit program. Speak to the executive director of your favorite cause and ask him or her if they could dream a program that would serve to make their world a better place, what would it be? Don’t go in with your ideas. Be humble enough to listen to what the nonprofit leader has to say.

You’ll have plenty of time to vet and help them shape an idea.

Once you receive a 1 to 3-page brief on the program, work with the nonprofit to vet, design and refine the idea (if necessary). And then commit to give the organization the start-up funds for that program. Depending on the organization and the work, nonprofit programs can be as little as $5,000 or go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Whatever the case, commit to working with them for three years to get the program off the ground. And, if you won’t fund the whole 3-year investment yourself, then help them find other donors like you who will help turn the dream into a reality.

Let’s face it, money’s good. As capitalists, the more, the better. But, what’s money if it’s not doing work? In business, you get the money to work for you. As human beings, you might consider using the money to make a difference in the world. As we know, we’re not leaving this place with money, so why not look today to invest in the world of others who need your money and expertise?

Please don’t forget to follow my blog at Living on Your Terms and like my Facebook Page.

Posted: March 15, 2017

© 2017 Savas Vikos all rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Savas Vikos with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



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