W.I.T. (What I’m Thinking)

Home/W.I.T. (What I’m Thinking)/

Trends in Philanthropy, 2017

A number of very good “trends in philanthropy” studies have been conducted over the last couple of years. Below are highlights from a compilation of several reports.*

Gen X-ers and Millennials Could be the Most Significant Philanthropists Ever

  • The wealthiest 10% of Americans now own 75% of all the wealth in the country, while the wealthiest 1% own an astonishing 43%. And the wealth gap is growing. The 30th Annual Forbes Billionaires List states that there are 540 billionaires in the U.S.
  • If current trends continue, donors from Gen X-ers and Millennials (those in their 20s,

Allocating Funds: How Do You Decide?

Shortly after turning 21, she had her first meeting with her trustee. In addition to hearing about the terms of her trust, she also had her first glimpse into the allocation process that her parents and grandparents went through. It was an eye-opener to realize that these would be the types of decisions that she, too, would have to make. When financial decisions become personal, such as deciding how to allocate money among family members, the decision becomes all the more difficult. Unless you allocate money equally among

Let’s Talk About It….The Impact of Wealth

Conversations around money and responsibility. The first time you discovered that you would be receiving a significant amount of money … enough money to change your life … how did you feel? Did it make you pause? Did you suddenly feel different and isolated from your friends? What did you want to know? What did you want to learn? How did you learn to talk about this very private topic?

What about the time you … as a parent … realized that the amount of inheritance you would be leaving your

It’s All About Empowerment

Practicing GratitudeEmpowering yourself and them We’ve all been in a position where someone has asked us for money … or been the one asking for money. Whether the “ask” be for a donation to charity, or a request for a loan, or an investment in a new business venture, we’ve all been asked for money.

And when you have money, it seems you get asked for it … a lot.

I’ve found it to be an uncomfortable position … whether you’re the person doing the asking, or the person being asked.


A Gift of Love

Serving Family BusinessThe importance of family. My mother decided to try something very brave one Christmas. Instead of a bunch of toys, she gave each of us a gift she had made herself: a handmade collage about her life with us. Mine was composed of cutout photos of me at various ages … from a babe in my mother’s arm to a young teenager, including a poem about mothers and daughters. My siblings received one unique to them as well. At that time, being your typical teenagers, we were not

PANKs and PUNKs: What Are You Talking About?

Creating the Life You WantPANK : Professional Aunt, No Kids The demographic nicknamed PANKs (Professional Aunt, No Kids) or PUNKs (Professional Uncle, No Kids) is one of the growing populations targeted by marketing and travel executives. The International Business Times calls PANK travel (aunts vacationing with nieces and nephews) one of its top travel trends for 2014 … “poised to become a billion-dollar industry.” While the concept of the pampering aunt isn’t new in itself, the growing number of PANKs and PUNKs is. PANKs are a revolution against the stereotypical

Molly Stranahan’s Story: Accepting the Gift As-Is

A Conversation with Molly Stranahan
Based on an Interview with Pamela Gerloff

My grandfather and father set up trusts for my generation when we were small, as an estate and income tax avoidance device. When I received my first trust at age 18, my immediate reaction was to find out how much money, in total, would be coming to me. I wanted to know how much I could spend without running out of it before I died. That’s when I learned there were other trusts, which I would receive at ages 21, 30, 35, and 40. ….

Receiving money