Giving Together as a Family

Whether you are a young family that is new to giving or you have an established charitable practice with multiple generations involved in your decision-making, the Community Foundation can help you make your greatest impact through philanthropy that is flexible, innovative, and personalized.

For Chris and Susan Staples, giving back is central to the way that they are raising their two children, Ben (16) and Maggie (12). They have taken the time to ensure that their kids appreciate their family’s “good fortune” and the importance of giving back to the community.

In conversation, words like “thankful,” “grateful,” and “blessed” come up often.

“Chris and I have both enjoyed success in our careers,” says Susan, Senior VP of People Operations at Waystar.  “We were raised by very caring parents ourselves, and we have focused on creating a similar home for our children where giving and sharing our time and resources are essential. We feel a responsibility and sense of obligation to help others so that everyone in our community has an opportunity to be the best they can be. When that happens, we win as a community.”

Over time, Chris and Susan have modeled this sense of responsibility to their kids, integrating philanthropy into their holiday traditions, serving on the boards of several local nonprofits, and investing in organizations like Home of the Innocents, Louisville Nature Center, Junior Achievement, and The Cabbage Patch Settlement House – nonprofits with missions that align with their interests of human services, education, and opportunity. But they wanted to be doing more.

Chris, Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer of Hilliard Lyons Trust Company, is no stranger to the Community Foundation; he’s been a trusted friend and partner to CFL for nearly a decade, working closely with our staff to tailor giving plans to fulfill his clients’ complex needs and help them reach their charitable goals. This experience has given Chris an inside look at why the Community Foundation partners so closely with our donors, so when it came time for his family to expand their philanthropy, the Community Foundation was a natural fit.

In consultation with Community Foundation staff, Chris and Susan chose to create a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), a charitable giving tool that allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction, and then recommend grants from the fund over time. They created their DAF with a few specific goals in mind: engaging Ben and Maggie more deeply in their family’s philanthropy, and formalizing their already generous community giving, ensuring that the spirit of generosity would continue for their family long after they are gone.

“It’s been important for us to teach Ben and Maggie why generosity matters, why we give, and how gifts to the right nonprofits can make a big difference in the lives of others.” says Chris.

Every year, Ben and Maggie both get to decide where the family will send a donation. They take this job very seriously – researching small, local organizations where they know their gifts will have the greatest impact. Maggie cares deeply about animals and the homeless. After witnessing a mother and her children living on the street, she was heartbroken to realize so many people are without homes. Ben wants to help Veterans, a passion that comes from learning about his Dad’s Navy service and the experiences of other brave men and women in the armed services. The organizations that they’ve chosen to support this year align perfectly with their interests. The family looks forward to donating their time to be actively involved in their children’s charitable passions beyond the financial donations.

“Engaging the next generation in the family’s charitable giving is about so much more than money,” says Anne McKune, Director of Philanthropy at the Community Foundation of Louisville. “It’s about values and traditions and a shared experience. And when you take a thoughtful and intentional approach to this work, you can inspire a lifetime of giving.”

If you are interested in how to establish or strengthen your charitable giving, please contact Anne McKune at [email protected] or 502.855.6948 to learn more about Philanthropy By Design.