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Embracing Authentic and Intentional Giving in 2024

Sarah NavranIndividual & Family Giving

Late in 2023, Merriam-Webster announced that their word of the year was “authentic.” According to Merriam-Webster, the term had an increase in searches “driven by stories and conversations about AI, celebrity culture, identity, and social media.” Perhaps people were inspired to become more authentic because of the significant events and cultural moments that shaped 2023.

While we can’t know what term will drive Google or dictionary searches this year, we can continue the trend of authenticity in 2024. As we go on to express our true selves, consider using the same approach with your philanthropy.

When we lean into the values we hold and make giving decisions from there, our philanthropy often becomes more meaningful and engaging. Whether weaving gratitude practices into family dinners or volunteering time at nonprofits, these simple actions lay the foundation for a more fulfilling giving journey. There is a genuine enthusiasm for making a difference, which is authenticity at its core.

As you shape your philanthropic intentions for 2024, reflect on the following checklist to help you give authentically this upcoming year.

Take Inventory of Your Giving

Take a moment to look back on your philanthropic journey. Thinking about what has made you feel good about your philanthropy in the past might spark a path for your next step. Consider these conversation starters to discover and grow your giving in an authentic way:

  • Are there big milestones you’ve achieved?
  • Are there causes you want to continue to support?
  • Have you changed your priorities?
  • Are there projects you want to lean into?

Greater Horizons donors can use our online portal to take an inventory of their charitable giving, including fund balance, grant history, investment strategy and more. If you need help getting started with accessing your fund online, check out our step-by-step video tutorial.

Embrace Year-Round Generosity

Studies show that consistent generosity leads to improved well-being and overall happiness. This feeling comes from the satisfaction of doing something good for others. Given the advantages of a generous lifestyle, one that is rooted in making a difference authentically, reflect on the following ideas to explore incorporating new philanthropic activities in all seasons:

  • Are there ways you can add intentional generosity to your everyday actions?
  • Do you have room to give more, both financially and of your time?
  • Do you have skills and passions that you can share with others?

With a donor-advised fund, you have the flexibility to request grants as often as you’d like, on a timeline that works for you. Supporting nonprofits at all times of the year, including during the holiday giving season, is a win-win for all.

Plan Your Future Giving

While planning for now and the rest of 2024, you might also plan for the future of your giving beyond your lifetime. There can be much to consider when planning for your philanthropic future, so we recommend starting with these questions:

  • What do you want to do today with your philanthropic planning to impact the future of our world?
  • Do you want to name a younger friend or family member to carry out your charitable giving?
  • Do you want to support nonprofits with legacy gifts for many years to come?

With a charitable investment account at Greater Horizons, you can name loved ones in the next generation to carry out your legacy. When the next generation takes over your charitable giving, we often find they can make the most meaningful impact when gifted a charitable investment account of their own to use however they would like.

You can also name nonprofits as beneficiaries of your charitable assets. Whether naming specific organizations or interest areas, you can provide guidance on how your charitable fund will continue to make a positive difference in the future.

If you’re inspired to explore your authentic self to create more meaningful philanthropy both now and in the future, we are here to support you. Our team of philanthropic advisors is trained to guide you through conversations about your values and your philanthropy. Contact us at to connect with a philanthropic advisor.