Doing Well and Doing Good

Those who give often groom their children with philanthropic values and know-how



JUPITER IMAGES

Peter Solomon, father of two adult children, steadfastly gives time and money to nonprofit organizations. The president and CEO of Regency Homes instilled this philosophy in his children from an early age.

“My kids were born here, grew up here, and came back to work for us after college,” he says. “They were and still are the recipients of the cultural amenities we are privileged to have here. Both were familiar with the McCallum Theatre and The Living Desert from the time they were 5.

It was not a stretch when they came back here working for the family company to say, ‘It’s your community, and you need to give back both financially and with your time.’”

Solomon’s son and daughter-in-law are involved with the YMCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert. His daughter is a Muse at McCallum Theatre and on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Both are members of Rancho Mirage Rotary.

“One of biggest concerns I have is, when you go to various fundraising events here, many of the donors are elderly,” Solomon says, “and I don’t see as many of the younger generation stepping up to take their place.”

Starting children early with philanthropy as a part of their lives is key to creating a lifelong interest and passion in giving.

“We see many family foundations setting up junior boards,” says Dori Kreiger, managing director of family philanthropy services for the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Foundations. Armed with cameras and questions, children visit charities that interest them and then present their findings to their family foundation board, making a request for where they would like funding to go.

As former managing director of Northern Trust’s Rancho Mirage office and now a private fiduciary and independent trustee of estates, David Wilson has advised clients for years on wealth management and family foundations. He tells them to expose children to philanthropy as early as 5 or 10 years of age. “Take them around to see age-appropriate nonprofits the family supports,” he says. “Past 10, let them contribute from their allowance to a cause or charity of their choice. Ask why they chose that.

See what draws them to a certain type of charity. This is key information for when they do take responsibility in the family’s giving decisions.”

Janice Burrill, senior vice president and philanthropic consultant with Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services, distinguishes check writers from true philanthropists. “There are those who write checks, which of course are needed, and then there are those for whom philanthropy is an inherent part of their way of life and value system as a person,” she says. Parents and grandparents need to share that concept with younger generations.

The complete educational process includes family/foundation board members, estate attorneys, investment trust officers, and those who administer the actions taken by the foundation board. Make sure there is a link between estate planning and philanthropic planning.

“Involving children and grandchildren as advisory members on the family foundation board helps them learn management of the family’s long-term charitable goals,” says Lantson Eldred, an Indian Wells lawyer specializing in multigenerational estate planning for large estates. “They see how requests are considered and the conditions under which grants are given.”

Ron Gother, president of the Desert Community Foundation, spent 41 years as a lawyer. Among his clients was the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation. “They set the best example I’ve seen of getting the next generation involved,” he recalls. Welk and his three siblings ran the foundation’s board, making all the giving decisions until his death. As the next generation came along, 10 percent of the budget was allocated to their new charities. “Giving that responsibility worked so well for the Welk family that it continues to the third generation,” Gother notes. Several members of the family lecture around the country on the subject.

If you don’t have a formal family foundation, consider setting one up. And when handing over the reins, recognize that the foundation’s mission may change as it evolves with the younger generations.

RESOURCES
* Council on Foundations, www.cof.org
* Association of Fundraising Professionals, www.afpnet.org
* YouthGive, www.youthgive.org
 

Comments to this website are moderated by staff. While all comments are welcome, we encourage all to be polite and please do not use this system for advertising or business promotions. Any complaint towards a business or service should be directed directly to that business and not posted here. If anyone has a complaint that a comment is defamatory, please contact me at tmay@palmspringslife.com and I will take appropriate action promptly. Thank You

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Building Industry Professionals Gather for Networking - Feb. 19, 2015

More than 125 industry professionals representing the new home housing and related fields gathered for a festive networking evening at the beautiful Ferguson Bath & Kitchen Design showroom in Rancho Mirage.

Bumper To Bumper; Cars, Art And Guests At Colin Fisher Studios - Mar. 6, 2015

The most recent art show opening at Colin Fisher Studios was titled “Made in America,” and yet the parking lot was mostly filled with European imports.

Vintage Club Members Gain Rare View of Space Exploration From Scientific Experts

Members of The Vintage Club recently took a voyage into space led by a pair of the country’s leading scientists and gained a close look at the Curiosity Mars Land Rover in Indian Wells.

Andalusia at Coral Mountain Broker Preview Reception - Mar. 10, 2015

The new home plans – Coralstone, Greystone and Santa Rosa – are the three largest homes in Andalusia’s collection ranging from 4,184 to 5,131 square feet. Andalusia also has three all-new plans ranging from 3,280 to 3,612 square feet.

"Party Like It's 1961" - Feb. 21, 2015

The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Council’s annual fundraiser took revelers back to 1961 as the Architecture and Design Center, Edwards Harris Pavilion was transformed into an outdoor time machine on Feb. 21.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.