I read an interesting editorial recently in The Denver Post, “Meaningful philanthropy can be the legacy you leave
,” by Bruce DeBoskey, a Colorado-based philanthropic advisor who helps families, businesses and foundations with philanthropic initiatives.
In the column, DeBoskey wonders how many of the 314 million Americans or 7 billion planetarians will be remembered 100 years from now. He points out that very few will be famously remembered like a Pablo Picasso or Thomas Edison, but most of us still seek meaning in our lives and hope to be remembered after we’re gone. The way many people who aren't famous outside their own communities do this is through philanthropic endeavors.
DeBoskey talks about how generous, thoughtful, focused philanthropy
is a necessary element of our legacy and advocates supporting organizations working to champion the things we are passionate about. Now admittedly, the column wasn’t allotted much space, preventing DeBoskey from going into much detail about how one can really go about making a difference and creating a legacy through philanthropy. Still, I found myself disappointed that the column about "meaningful philanthropy" failed to even mention the most effective vehicle for making significant charitable donations
: life insurance.
I have long believed that charities need to do a better job of asking donors to create new insurance policies with the charity as the owner and beneficiary. A fully paid life insurance policy allows donors to make small, manageable payments toward what will become a major contribution to the charity (while also providing a significant tax benefit to the donor). It's a win-win. We just need more people to be aware of the power of life insurance products to create difference-making contributions to charities who need it. And I wish people who attempt to educate the public about philanthropy would take every opportunity to cover how it can best be accomplished.