Generations of Giving – Transforming lives as a family

December 15, 2023

We interviewed Claire and she shared some insights into the world of multi-generational giving.

Family philanthropy is a special way to make a collective impact. There are many ways we work with families to support their grantmaking. Our staff facilitates discussions, during which we learn what motivates you as a family, and as individuals when making philanthropic decisions. We will help you identify what values represent the entire family and which individual values should be considered when you think about giving back. We explore ways that your family can give through time, talent, treasure, testimony, and social ties. From there, we can work with you to build an annual family giving plan, or one that lasts for years to come.

Lorraine Fairmont; Claire Tdf
Image by Amanda Tipton Photography

Claire Tobin is the major gifts officer at The Denver Foundation. She works to offer personalized support to make each donor’s philanthropic goals a reality. With more than a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising in the Denver Metro area, Claire’s goal is to enhance the community’s philanthropic landscape by inviting everyone to celebrate in the joy of giving by leaving a lasting legacy to the organizations they love most.

Q. Why should someone consider giving as a family?

Family philanthropy is important for several reasons. It allows families to make a positive difference in their communities or globally by addressing pressing social issues and supporting charitable causes. It also provides a platform for passing down family values, ethics, and a sense of responsibility to future generations. Family philanthropy can leave a lasting legacy extending beyond material wealth, leaving a positive mark on society for decades to come.

In addition, engaging in philanthropic activities together can strengthen family bonds, foster a sense of togetherness, and create shared meaningful experiences. Combining the wisdom of older generations with the fresh perspectives of younger ones within your own family can lead to more informed and balanced grantmaking.

Q. What are the advantages of engaging the whole family?

Each generation brings unique perspectives, values, and life experiences to the table. This diversity can lead to more innovative and well-rounded philanthropic strategies. This promotes a culture of continuous learning and growth within the family and encourages families to explore new philanthropic areas for grant-making. Younger generations can carry on the family’s legacy and adapt it to contemporary issues, while older generations can serve as mentors, passing down their philanthropic wisdom and values to younger family members, fostering a sense of purpose and responsibility.

Q. What is the process you use when working with families?

Jim And Janice Campbell Photo
The bench near the Campbell’s home

There isn’t one model or process because each family is unique; however, I have found success in working with families who have clear charitable goals or want to work together to set them. I’ll work with families to craft philanthropic mission statements or create a set of values or guidelines to follow when selecting organizations to support through their grantmaking.

Having a guide can foster an open and supportive environment where family members feel comfortable sharing their aspirations or goals in their grantmaking. Over time, priority areas and goals may change, but having a road map, including, but not limited to, annual grantmaking amounts, cycles, and clear communication plans, can lead to a successful family philanthropy dynamic.

I host families annually or several times a year at The Denver Foundation to facilitate these robust conversations or meet with family members over coffee or lunch to create a road map to make their giving successful.

Q. Why would someone work with The Denver Foundation instead of starting a family foundation? 

There are many advantages to utilizing the services of The Denver Foundation over establishing a private family foundation. The Denver Foundation handles the administrative tasks of donor funds, legal requirements, and compliance issues, allowing fundholders to fully engage in the joy of giving free from administrative burden.

In addition to the ease of establishing funds, our experienced and connected team is knowledgeable about local community needs and nonprofit organizations and can provide valuable guidance to help make sure your grants are having the biggest impact.

Q. Why are you passionate about family philanthropy? 

Many donors often have specific visions and dreams for their philanthropy. Assisting families and seeing the tangible impact of donors’ contributions to the causes and communities they care about most is one of the most rewarding aspects of my role as Major Gifts Officer at The Denver Foundation.

This holiday season is a great time to plan your giving with your family. Contact your relationship manager to start these conversations. Call 303.300.1790.