The Smith Family: Philanthropy is a family enterprise

For the Smiths, philanthropy is a family enterprise. Erica and Wayne Smith and their daughters, Morgan and Melody, see their We4Smith donor-advised fund as a vehicle to share their passions and to learn more about their community and nonprofit organizations working to make it better.

The family meets regularly to discuss their passions, and they also share a goal to do community service at a different organization each month. “It is an avenue for learning about philanthropy and about different organizations,” says Erica Smith. Her family is currently focused on organizations engaged with music and music therapy.

A Philanthropically Minded Family

Smith says they have worked to teach their daughters to be philanthropically minded from the beginning. “At their birthday parties, they have always collected donations instead of presents,” she remarks. She hopes the process of being engaged as advisors on their fund helps deepen their daughters’ philanthropic experience. “My hope is that they find the passion to serve others,” she says.

Rose Community Foundation Role

The Smith family houses their donor-advised fund with Rose Community Foundation. That means they make decisions about how to support their favorite charitable organizations while Rose Community Foundation takes care of the rest. They also benefit from learning opportunities and personal advisory services from experienced staff, like Anita Wesley, in helping reach their philanthropic goals.

Anita Wesley is the family’s philanthropic advisor at Rose Community Foundation, and she helps them research different organizations within their interests. “Anita does all the hard work, and then we get to do the fun part,” says Smith. As a family, they discuss Wesley’s research once a year and determine which organizations they plan to invite to apply for grants.

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