Legacy Project Selection For PhilanthropistsWanting to Maximize Their Positive Impact inWays that Reflect Their Passion

Y ou don’t have to be uber-wealthy to have Legacy Projects. Wanting to be a positive influence in the world is a fundamental value amongpeopleofgoodwill.Legacymightbeabout having meaningful impact that continues beyond our lifetime, but legacy’s foundation focuses on what we do during our lives. For some, that’s about setting aside a portion of our estate to be utilized by our favorite causes after our death. For most of us, though, it’s about our donating time, energy and/or money during our lives in ways that make an immediate difference and might have an enduring impact. A Legacy Project is a focused way of having positive impact in areas that are most aligned with the purposes and causes about which we most care. Ideal Legacy Projects live at the intersection of what’s truly important to the legacy creator and where underserved individuals and/or causes can most benefit from the legacy creator’s chosen gift(s). This means you’ll probably feel the most fulfilled if the Legacy Project(s) you select enable you to make a meaningful difference by having positive impact in ways that are truly important to you, with those who can most benefit from the assistance you’re passionate about providing. The first logical question to ask yourself is this: How can I best identify Legacy Projects that accomplish all this?

Legacy Project Selection To start identifying a Legacy Project that would rock your world, consider three starter questions for identifying your best Legacy Project Candidates: 1. What’s your cause? 2. Who will you help? 3. How will you help? As you consider your answers to those questions, keep these two dimensions in mind: • Selecting: Of all the Legacy Projects you could devote yourself to, which ones might best enable you to express heartfelt portions of your life purpose? Of these possibilities,which best combine the strongest pull for you with the biggest unmet need in the philanthropic marketplace? • Providing: What form(s) of Legacy Project assistance would most delight you to provide? The gift of time, expertise, resources, and/or money? How much of which? Starting now or after you (and/or your spouse) die? Once you’ve identified your best Legacy Project Candidates through your unique answers to the questions above, here are four things to evaluate that can help you decide the one(s) you’ll feel the most sustainably impassioned about, and fulfilled by, supporting:

38 I Nonprofit Professional Performance Magazine

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