Values are the things that you believe are important. As an individual, your personal values are a lens through which you see the world and make critical decisions. Articulating your values enables you to align your charitable giving with the things that matter most to you.
Deciding on values for shared giving
If you haven’t already defined your values, a good place to start is to have everyone in the family articulate their individual values. You can then assess the commonalities and refine them in order to decide on shared values that fit the vision of your charitable giving and help evaluate preferences for causes and/or charities you might fund.
If you aren’t sure how to articulate your values, click below to download a list of potential values.
How to use this list:
1. Underline all those values that resonate with you, and/or write in your own at the bottom. Most people will end up with a list of 10-20 values
2. Have a look for commonalities. Are there some that can be covered by others?
3. Challenge yourself to find no more than three that hold the greatest meaning for you and the causes and/or charities you might fund.
How to incorporate your values
There is no single right way to incorporate your values into your philanthropy. If you are developing a vision and mission for your foundation, it’s important to ensure they align with your values. You can also incorporate your values into the practical areas of your giving. Below are some examples:
Values driving the ‘what’
When you are deciding on the focus areas for your giving, consider how they align to your values.
- We value learning – we focus on education and empowerment
- We value family – we focus on disadvantaged children and support for single parents
- We value financial stability – we support financial literacy and microfinance programs
- We value creativity – we support arts and culture organisations
- We value curiosity – we support early-stage medical research
Values guiding who we give to
Values can also be useful in helping decide the types of organisations you choose to support.
- We value discovery – we look for start-ups and innovators
- We value tradition – we support established, faith-based organisations
- We value leadership – we fund organisations with a strong board and inspiring CEO
Values guiding how we make decisions
Values can be useful for framing how you make decisions, particularly when there are multiple directors and/or family members involved.
- We value diversity – each person chooses and champions a particular cause or charity
- We value connection – all giving decisions are done after an open joint conversation
- We value wonder – the next generation have a pool of money to allocate as they wish
Values guiding how we view impact
The impact we want to make can also be aligned with our values.
- We value community – success is having the wider community engaged not just individuals
- We value truth – our charity partners tell us what hasn’t worked as well as what has
- We value trust – those working on the ground know best how to solve the problems
Need further help articulating your giving values?
The APS Giving Services team regularly facilitates strategy sessions with APS clients to help them articulate their individual and shared values. Contact us to find out more.