“Innovation is change that unlocks new value.” – Jamie Notter
Like many good ideas, Investments4Impact is the marriage of my more than 20 years of investment experience and my desire to DO MORE. I was already volunteering in the community, serving on charitable boards, and supporting various charitable causes with time and money. But despite all the time and resources I was already devoting to multiple causes, I was still left with the feeling that I could DO MORE and that MORE WORK NEEDED TO BE DONE.
One of the aspects of my personality that makes me well suited to work in the Wealth Management profession is that I am a good problem solver. Helping clients define their goals, devise a plan, and making every effort to have that plan succeed is a way I can channel my financial knowledge and expertise to meaningfully help people. But some problems are easier to solve than others.
We have all personally faced adversity and know friends, family, and neighbors battling unfortunate circumstances like illness, financial hardship, and loss. As a result of social media and the internet, we are more informed about and connected with each other than ever before.
If there is any good that can come from hearing about these challenges it is that is reminds us of life’s fragility and the many gifts it has to offer. It serves as a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. And it can serve as a catalyst to spur us into action.
When I was doing my research about charitable giving, I was interested to learn that on average, the level of charitable giving as a percent of income is around 2%. Even more interesting is that level is highest for those persons in the lowest income tax bracket. Basically, the people that can afford to give the least, give the most. It is not just about the tax deduction. It is in our nature to want to “pay it forward” and help others. And the U.S. as a country is officially the most generous nation in the world.
According to data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, donations from individuals make up more than 70% of contributions received by nonprofit organizations. Our heart is in the right place, but as individuals we all have personal fiscal responsibilities and our financial resources are not infinite. Another interesting finding based on data compiled by Blackbaud is that while the level of overall giving is 2%, the level of giving online is now up to 12.6%. This data suggests that if organizations make it easier for individuals and entities to give, they will do so.