The Impact Phase is about purpose, meaning and results. It bears repeating…the central purpose of giving or philanthropy is that it is the most important method of raising your children with Godly virtues and creating a legacy that is impactful! Having the children, at whatever age, participate in the decisions, research and actual giving is critical so that they buy into your virtues. I have discovered over the past several years that there is no better method of assuring your legacy than creating a plan for your giving. It is not just a plan, but also a process of involving the family in every aspect of your philanthropy. It must be done deliberately and with a careful, detailed approach. What follows is a process for doing so.
1. The Discovery Phase
The giving plan begins with a discovery of your purpose and your priorities in giving. This is accomplished through a comprehensive assessment of what is important to you. For most, giving is not a new idea. You have been doing so for a long time. You have developed sensitivities and heartfelt compassion for certain groups. The assessment is meant to help you create a purpose or mission for your giving and then a list of priorities. It is helpful to organize your thoughts so that you, your spouse and children are on the same page. This can bring unity and cohesiveness to the family dynamic.
2. The Evaluation phase
In this phase, you review your giving history. You take a closer look at nonprofits you want to support and you define the focus, scope and priorities of future giving.
3. The Participation phase
You could also call this phase the accountability phase. It is wise to create accountability for your gifting. Whether that is something that you feel comfortable doing or you would rather have your accountant or financial advisor do it, you need to know where and how your funds are being used. Create quarterly reports of your gifts including activity and amounts, targets, and scope of your giving.
4. The Celebration phase
This phase answers the question, “What is the qualitative and quantitative impact of my gift?” This is the time to celebrate God’s impact on the recipients and your family. There is no greater joy in life than that of seeing the impact of your gift. It will change your life forever and will change your children if they participate. It may very well change the dynamic of your family and thus your legacy.
Planning a legacy that has Kingdom impact and that forever changes the focus and scope of your family is what this step in the process is. Vision, Clarify, Focus, Implementation, and Impact phases are the exclamation point of a Christian Family Legacy that will have a lasting effect on future generations. If you are interested in a God-centered impact on your family that will change forever your family dynamic and focus, this process must be incorporated in your Estate plan. There are no shortcuts or substitutes.