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Stewardship – Giving Wealth Wisely

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In the course of writing these articles on wealth, I have received emails asking how people can distribute their wealth for the good of the community.  For this article I am going to divide charitable giving into four categories:

1. Business Assistance

2. Educational Assistance

3. General Community Assistance

4. Family Assistance

The only way that the Black Community can truly create business wealth is to create funds that provide capital to Black businesses.  For our purposes we will oversimplify and divided these funds into two type, venture capital funds and business assistance funds. 

Venture capital funds are for profit funds.  These funds are designed to make money for their investors.  They essentially invest in potentially high-risk and high-growth businesses.  Venture capital funds have been behind the explosive growth of technology in the United States technology.

I am using the term business assistance funds to describe funds that are not for profit and provide loans (including microloans) and grants to businesses.  Loans have to be paid back while grants do not.

2.  Educational Assistance

Educational assistance can take the form of scholarships and fellowships.  Scholarships are monies given to students to be used to pay for the cost of their education.  With the rising cost of private schools, scholarships can be provided to students of all ages, from elementary through college.  Fellowships are funds provided to the school, college or university. 

3.  General Community Assistance

This is the money that we give to churches, civic organizations (NAACP, Urban League, etc.) community based organizations, fraternal organizations and professional organizations (Black MBA's, Doctors, Attorneys, Data Processors, Accountants, etc.).  There are so many needs in our community that finding an organization to give money to is not a problem.

4.  Family Assistance

Kevin Martin
We all want to help our families, but as I have pointed out in previous articles, providing and unexpected lump sum of money usually leads to wasteful spending.  It is often better to provide our wealth to our family members via a living will or trust.  (I am not a financial advisor so you probably want to speak with a professional for more details). 

The legal definition of a trust is a fiduciary relationship in which one person (the trustee) holds the title to property (the trust estate or trust property) for the benefit of another (the beneficiary). (see www.dictionary.com - definition 9 under Law).

The basic concept is to ensure that your child or relative uses the money as a down payment on a home, to further their education, to invest, or to start a business, rather than just for buying a new car.

Money can be given to any or all of these categories, depending on your interests and desires.  The key is to begin planning to pass your wealth on now.

Kevin Martin grew up in Riverside and is interested in discussing specific actions for improving the Black community.  Comments can be sent to   by1989@pacificnet.net.   This account receives a great deal of spam so be sure to include this article's title or blackvoicenews in your subject line.

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