Think About Your Multiple Legacies | DGM 032

Think About Your Multiple Legacies

Welcome. This is the podcast that helps you do good even better — regardless of which charities or causes you support. 

This is Ed Long. In each podcast I talk about charities and provide actionable tips to help donors and volunteers to take their philanthropy to the next level and do good even better.


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Main Topic: Think About Your Multiple Legacies

  • I’m going to get a bit philosophical today. I’ve been thinking a lot about legacies.Your Multiple Legacies
  • Recently started listening to and liking a new podcast lately, called “First Things” and created by Brandon Vaughn, Ph.D. Here’s a link to Brandon’s website and his podcast.
    • Brandon’s brought back to mind a lot of learning about effectiveness, prioritizing and balance.
    • And reminders of some of the thoughts from Stephen R. Covey. Covey wrote the best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. My copy is all marked-up and dog-eared. But I hadn’t opened it lately.
    • Covey followed the 7 Habits with First Things First. There he summarized the four human needs as
      • to live (our physical need for food, clothing, shelter, health)
      • to love (our social need to relate to other people)
      • to learn (our mental need to develop and grow) and
      • to leave a legacy (our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose and contribution).
  • Patty and I also lost a long-time good friend, Marsha. Her memorial service was this weekend.
    • At and after the memorial, there were many good things said about Marsha. And about her legacy.
  • I also recently pulled Inspired Philanthropy by Tracy Gary, my favorite philanthropy book off the shelf. It talks about leaving a legacy.
  • Stephen Covey, the memorial service and Inspired Philanthropy all seemed to be talking about legacy as if it was just one thing.
    • And I realized that, in the past, I’d mostly thought of legacy only as being something left when a person dies.
    • Miriam-Webster #1 definition of legacy refers to gifts of money or property as in a bequest under a will. And #2 talks about things transmitted from ancestors or the past.
  • You and I know that meaningful legacies don’t show up willy-nilly. You create meaningful legacies  with effort. With focus. With intention. If there’s no intention, focus or effort —  the result can’t really be considered a legacy.
  • Now I realize that each of us can have multiple legacies.
  • That we can have them in different arenas, such as
    • Our personal and family lives.
    • Our business and financial lives.
    • Our community and charitable lives.
  • And they exist during our lifetimes.
  • I put this all together with another reminder from Brandon Vaughn’s podcast, that life is like a book and that as we move forward we move from chapter to chapter.
    • Many of the chapters can include legacies.
    • When I look at my life so far, I see a legacies where my work is already done, and legacies I’m working to create now.
  • For our friend Marsha,
    • Her personal legacies included the values she taught her children and grandchildren.
    • Her business and financial legacies included the successful business Marsha and her husband built and sold.
    • Her community and charitable legacies included the true neighborhood she was a leader in creating.
    • These legacies all came about because of her intention, focus and energy.
    • And they didn’t just show up when she died. They’ve been around for many years. And will continue for many years.
  • I’m confident that you have already created legacies in your personal, financial and community lives.
    • And that you can and will create more.
    • With intention, focus and energy.
  • Let’s move it to the charitable context, because that’s what SeriousGivers is about.
    • What community and charity legacies have you already created?
    • What are you creating now?
    • What would you like to create in the future?
  • Your smart and easy assignment for today:
    • Think about the multiple legacies you’ve already created. Personal, financial and community.
    • Then take it a step further — think, in the community and charity context, about what legacy or legacies you want to create with your future focus, intention and energy.

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About Ed Long, the podcaster

Podcaster Ed Long has been preparing more than 40 years to do this podcast. He knows charities and the rules that apply to them. He’s analyzed charity finances and operations.  He’s founded and run charities, and volunteered for them. He’s helped the public and law enforcement fight fake charities, and has served as a philanthropy educator and coach. Before all that he worked as a partner with a major Wall Street law firm. Ed is the founder and CEO of SeriousGivers, which itself is a charity. Ed knows the great work that strong charities can do with the resources entrusted to them, and is passionate about helping others find and support strong charities.