Thanksgiving presents a perfect time to share ideas with family and friends about how best to achieve your desired charitable outcomes during the holidays. Forbes Magazine has some great tips about leveraging this season of thanks to align with your strategic philanthropic goals:

  1. Make the dinner table a charitable roundtable: Assemble all of the appeals you’ve been receiving in the mail and online. Each family member can give opinions on which cause they feel most strongly about contributing to this year.
  2. Discuss your legacy plans: The wonderful thing about philanthropy is its potential for a lasting impact. What do you want to be remembered for? Your close circle can provide a great forum for sharing which causes are closest to your heart, and for which you will be remembered.
  3. Involve future philanthropists!: Engaging youth in philanthropic decisions is a great way to cultivate a culture of giving within your own family group. Children and teens can give fresh insight to your holiday giving, and you might consider setting aside funds for which the kids can give to causes of their choosing.
  4. Develop a family mission statement: Encourage everyone to write down their philanthropic vision, and combine all of the missives into one cohesive statement for your family’s giving practices. Eg. “Protecting wildlife” or “Fighting for social justice.”
  5. Reinforce the true message of the holiday season: Even though many of us are gearing up for midnight Black Friday sales, it is important to reiterate that the true message of the holiday season is not about vapid consumerism, but about aligning your values with your spending practices to support the causes that you and your loved ones care about most.

As 57% of Americans plan on giving to charitable causes this year, these tips offer a good framework for getting a jump on your philanthropic strategy this season.

From everyone at CAAP, we’d like to wish you and your family a warm and welcoming Thanksgiving!


Photo credit: Martin Cathrae

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