Community foundation board members teach by living. When they attend to board business and when they talk about their work on the board to friends, associates, and family, they tattoo a cultural value and civic responsibility on the minds of everyone who hears them. Peers measure themselves by what you have demonstrated, and children, regardless of age, look to parents as role models. The children, grandchildren, great grandchildren may not want your “you should sermons,” but they value highly your living lesson.
William James (1842-1910), great American educator, philosopher, and psychologist wrote, “Sow an action, and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny.” When you consider this wisdom in relation to your role in the family, you know that volunteering for the community foundation is repaid in a currency never touched by inflation or economic upheaval. Volunteering pays in family values.
Another way of living the lesson is creating a donor-advised fund involving all generations in the grant decisions. A donor-advised fund lifts your family above the storm and stress of American life by demonstrating to generations yet unborn that their family means something to the community and that every family member has a part to play in determining what that something is. Grants are made when the family caucuses and every voice and vote is counted.
Reflect on your involvement with the community foundation and you know you don’t need the Wall Street Journal to track this investment. You see the increase in value when you look at your family. To talk about all of this, call Steve Kosak, Executive Director, at (814) 677-8687, or Charles Marlin, Board President, at (814) 797-2233. Charles Marlin