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Giving thanks by giving back

By Ray Sclafani | November 25, 2020


To say that 2020 has been a challenging year could perhaps be the greatest understatement of all time. It’s honestly been a year of unimaginable struggle. The loss of more than a quarter million American lives to COVID-19. Protests and clashes across the nation surrounding ongoing and persistent racial injustice. And so much political enmity and divisiveness related to the recent election.

At times this year, the idea of ‘giving thanks’ for anything has seemed almost laughable.

Yet together (and apart), we’ve somehow managed to navigate all these difficulties and persevere – as we’ve always done before. And although most of us are not traveling to visit family and friends this year, opting instead for smaller holiday gatherings, there is nevertheless ample reason to give thanks. Looking ahead, we can be optimistic about the prospects of a COVID vaccine on the very near-term horizon, as well as an economy that’s proven remarkably resilient despite so much uncertainty. I’m pretty sure I reflect the views of many in hoping for a much welcome return to some semblance of normalcy in the year ahead.

Pay it forward

We’ve all been incredibly fortunate that our industry has been able to thrive amidst all the chaos of this year. Certainly, there have been logistical challenges associated with working remotely, but unlike so many businesses that have been decimated by this pandemic, we’ve been able to provide an uninterrupted continuity of service and care to our clients.

So, perhaps together we can approach this holiday season with a shared commitment to help rekindle what Lincoln wonderfully described as the better angels of our nature. This coming Tuesday (December 1st) will be the ninth annual Giving Tuesday.

Created in 2012 as a simple idea, a day that encourages people to do good, it has grown into a global generosity movement that inspires millions of people each year to donate, to volunteer, and to collaborate in an effort to enhance their communities and better the lives of those in need. The real joy in philanthropy comes from rolling up your sleeves and engaging on a personal level, rather than simply writing the check.

Take time to think about which causes matter most to you. Decide how much time you can commit, and identify any talents you possess that might especially benefit the organization. And most importantly, be certain to discuss with your clients their philanthropic and giving goals. Not only might it be in their financial best interests, it can help deepen your personal relationships with them – creating connections that endure through market cycles and even across generations.

Whether it is establishing a charitable foundation, inviting a client’s future beneficiaries to sit down and discuss what issues matter most, or simply educating them about what others are doing, you have a unique opportunity to provide a lasting impact for generations to come. That is part of the nobility of our great profession. Give Thanks! Each and every day for all the years ahead! Happy. Thanks. Giving.

Coaching Questions from this article:

  1. Take a few minutes to reflect on the things you are most grateful for. What actions could you take to better demonstrate that appreciation?
  2. What are your philanthropic interests and passions, and how might you be able to “plug in” to one or more organizations that reflect those interests?
  3. How do you currently broach the topic of philanthropy with clients? What might you do differently to better engage them in charitable conversations?

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Topics: Thank You!

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