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Making generosity a family affair

Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 10:23

Welcome to our updated newsletter, Investing in Good 
Our newsletter has a new name and look, as well an inspiring story from one of our donors who is making the most of her generosity. 
Making generosity a family affair 
The satisfaction Sandy Nekola experiences every time she makes a grant from her donor-advised fund has multiplied since her kids got involved. The Nekola Family Charitable Fund was established by Sandy and her husband, Peter, in 2007, with an inheritance of appreciated stock she received from her aunt. Both lifelong teachers, the Nekolas were awed by their sudden windfall.  

“This is not our money,” Sandy recalls telling her husband. And he responded, “Of course not, so that’s why we’re giving it away.” Peter saw the fund at work for five years before he passed away with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. 
With a donor-advised fund, donors may receive a charitable tax deduction at the time of their gift, and then designate grants to qualifying charities over time. “It makes me so happy whenever I recommend grants from the fund and don’t need to write checks from my living expenses,” Sandy says.  
When Sandy observed her daughter, Anna, giving cash to a local food shelf, she suggested they make future gifts to the organization from their family fund. “Once Anna realized she could designate to causes she believes in, she would email information about organizations to me,” Sandy says. 
Sandy’s son, Pete, became more involved in decision-making while home for an extended visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. He printed a list of causes they were supporting, and mother and son set out to vet each one. “We actually visited local places to see what they were about,” she says. “It’s good to have another set of eyes on the decisions.”  
Sandy appreciates having the flexibility to change their minds about which charities to support and the ability to give anonymously online if they choose. “What we love about our fund is how we can support so many programs we care about,” she says. “Even small grants are really meaningful to local organizations.” 
The Nekolas were encouraged to create a donor-advised fund by their financial professional, Ted Contag of Parable Wealth Partners. 
Ted says, “Money is hard for parents to talk about with their kids. A donor-advised fund is a great tool for family money conversations.” Ted believes the donor-advised fund gives Sandy “a permission slip” to give. “With her own family fund, she can be more generous and find more joy doing so,” he says. “And with her family involved, they will continue her legacy far into the future.” 
Increase the impact of your planned giving 
Contact your Thrivent financial professional, visit or call 800-365-4172.