Create a legacy that will echo in your community

Within many of us is a desire to serve a cause bigger than ourselves and make a difference – in our neighborhoods, in our country and around the globe. In fact, nearly a third of U.S. adults volunteer, and Americans donate billions of dollars to charity each year. To turn that philanthropy into a legacy, it pays to reflect on how you can best use your ideas, creativity, income and influence to help create your vision of a better world. Here are some ways to incorporate a unique sense of purpose into your life now – while you can see the impact of your good deeds.

Volunteer your time

Getting involved in charities and events can energize your giving strategy as you see firsthand the needs of the local and global community. Consider using a site like VolunteerMatch to find a nonprofit in search of your professional skillset.

Involve your family

Explaining your giving goals to your family can help amplify your influence. You could also try a volunteering vacation, where you and your family can spend a week in service to others via an organization like Global Volunteers.

Take stock of what matters

Live today, and prepare for tomorrow. Review what considerations and conversations might be helpful to your legacy planning, and what documents you should have in place.

Be an effective donor

Define the values that drive your philanthropy, then filter appeals for impulse giving by asking "is this the legacy I want to build?" A giving plan should also include financial strategies that can help maximize your charitable gifts.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pine
Only 31% of people with significant wealth feel they are doing enough to help others. Source: U.S. Trust 2018 study
77 million Americans, 30% of the adult population, volunteer. Source: The Corporation for National and Community Service, 2017 figures
84% of those with significant wealth consider giving back to be an important goal. Source: U.S. Trust 2018 study