Grandparents inspire Philanthropic Giving Across the Generations
Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) finds itself the grateful recipient of gifts from two different sets of grandparents and grandchildren. Each gift was inspired and funded by the elder generation, with the decision of where to direct the gift provided by the younger.
In the case of Joyce and Bill Fletcher and their grandson, Ben Israel, Joyce explains, “our offer to the grandchildren did not put many conditions on their donation. We simply said that we wanted them to think about an issue they cared about and an organization they knew personally that was addressing their concerns in a meaningful way.” Ben, a sophomore at Bowdoin, did some research and reported back to his grandparents that he wished to support BTLT and Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP), observing “I think that these local charities will be able to make a big impact on the larger Mid Coast Maine community and I hope to give back to the community I’ve grown up and now go to school in.” He furthered,
“sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down by the weight of a problem like climate change but I believe that local organizations such as BTLT and MCHPP are how change is truly made.”
Nina Comiskey followed a similar protocol with her grandchildren, giving each of them a blank check at Christmas and asking them to do a little research about where to direct the support. Her grandson, Brunswick Junior High School 8th grader Ned Boak, chose BTLT because he felt a local gift would have more of an impact and he wanted other families to have the chance to be outdoorsy like his. He noted that Woodward Point Preserve is one of his favorite BTLT properties. Nina reflects, “we could have donated to a charity in their name, but I think the blank check idea has been a great way, a better way, to introduce them to the importance of philanthropy.”
Indeed. Land conservation is a forever promise; these multi-generational gifts embody this promise beautifully. We are grateful to these wise grandparents and thoughtful grandsons for their support of our work.