The question came from my ten-year old in the back seat of the car as we were driving to the supermarket. It wasn’t quite out of the blue. The day before we had been talking about the 300,000 euro bonus each player on the Spanish national team received for having won The European Cup… and that there was a movement asking the players to donate what their winnings to nonprofits in Spain, where things are quite tough right now. And Alex knows what I do for a living.
So I had to answer, right then and there, from the driver’s seat. Honestly. “No, I wouldn’t give it all away. First I would make sure that we had enough money so that you and your brother could get the education that you wanted and you two and your Dad and I had enough money so that we could all do what we wanted to do in life.” (We’ve talked before about Warren Buffet’s theory of giving your kids enough so that they can do anything they want but no so much that they can do nothing…) “Honestly we would probably even want to make sure there was your money put aside for you and your brother’s kids’ education (they both say they want to have children when they grow up.) Then yes, I would probably give the rest away.
“I thought so” he responded. No further questions. This time.
I believe generosity starts at home. It’s human nature that we want to take care of our own families. And we should. For many of us the trick is figuring just how much we need to “do what we want to do in life” (including being an example for our children and grandchildren) and realizing that we have the freedom to choose what we will do with the rest of our resources … that we can be purposeful about how and why we spend, give and save our wealth. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It can be both family and philanthropy. Learn more about how to do it well here.
By Kristin Majeska