Giving Traditions

Nov. 24, 2020 null

Highlights from DonorConnect: Giving Traditions

The Community Foundation was pleased to host DonorConnect: Giving Traditions earlier this month.  It was a privilege to hear from charitable giving fund holders who shared powerful stories of the role giving has played in shaping their lives, communities and families.

Panelists Mary, Brian & Drake Lohse, Debbie Hubbell, Michele Druker & Wade Hauser, and Mari & Jesse Bunney discussed the many ways their charitable giving efforts have turned into meaningful conversations that bring loved ones closer together and inspire future generations. Read below for a brief summary of each family's giving story, and watch the highlights from DonorConnect by clicking the video below. View the full recording by clicking here

The Hauser-Druker Family

nullAs Wade Hauser and Michele Druker sought to engage their adult children in their giving, they took advantage of the Community Foundation's family giving services. They came together to create a family mission statement using the Community Foundation's Giving Guide to assist each family member in considering the values and interests they care about most.


"We all filled out the Giving Guide separately and then compared our notes together with Community Foundation staff," shared Michele. "To see our children very clearly express the issues that were important to them as young adults in their communities was really terrific."


"We melded all of our interests together, found common points and then set goals,"
Wade added. "It was a way to get buy-in because having all of our interests in these goals meant we all had skin in the game, so to speak. They're very interested in it and they feel like they're playing a part."

The Lohse Family

nullFor Mary and Brian Lohse, the opportunity to bring their family together toward a shared goal of giving back has been a rewarding learning experience for all. The Lohse's provide each of their children with individual funds they can direct to the causes they care about.


"Just being able to have those conversations about what they wanted to give to and what was important to them, we learned a great deal about our kids," shared Brian.


"When we first started with the Community Foundation, I think I was maybe 15 or 16 and I'll admit that I didn't quite get it," added the couple's 23-year-old son, Drake. "But the joy for me has been being out in the community, soaking up all these different causes and passions. The flexibility to soak that all in and direct funding as our interests change and grow—that's really been the fun part for me."

The Bunney Family

nullMari and Jesse Bunney teach their young children about the importance of giving back with three jars labeled “save,” “spend,” and “give.” The children divide their allowance money between the three jars and decide as a family where they’d like to give.


To continue having this conversation in the future and grow the impact of their giving, the Bunney family opened a Seed Fund at the Community Foundation. As their charitable giving fund grows, the Bunneys teach their children about the importance of giving by showing them firsthand the needs in the community through volunteer service and conversations about how and why to help those in need.


"We feel it's important to be intentional about what you're doing, it doesn't have to be big," Jesse said. "When you talk about it openly and intentionally it makes a bigger impact on your kids."  


"It's the more tangible things they can see and feel and touch that means the most to them right now," shared Mari.

The Hubbell Family

nullDebbie Hubbell says she and husband Mike have seen the ways involving their children in charitable conversations from a young age has shaped who they are as adults. The organizations their children learned about over the years continue to benefit from their gifts of time, talent and treasure. 


"They have become such active volunteers as adults," Debbie said. "I'll never forget the day I found out our oldest son Cooper had been volunteering for Everybody Wins as a reading volunteer which was my huge passion."


Their other son, now a physician, spends his days off delivering meals for Meals on Wheels.


"I had never been prouder of anything that my kids have done. We never said to them 'you need to go out and volunteer,' but they just grew up around it and so they did." 

Start the Conversation

It is the Community Foundation’s privilege to work alongside you as you seek to share the gift of giving with future generations. Whether leading you through discussions of how your values and beliefs shape your giving, creating charitable mission statements to guide strategic giving or providing opportunities to learn about local causes; our team is here to help you give back.

Use the resources below to start charitable conversations.

  • Download the Giving Guide to develop a charitable mission statement and guide strategic giving that accomplishes your charitable goals.
  • Download the Community Foundation's Highlights Magazine to engage givers of all ages.
  • Visit the recently revamped GIVEdsm to learn about the needs and opportunities of our community and offer support to those that match your interests.
  • Contact us to receive a year-end giving organization envelope.
  • Learn about opportunities to volunteer or organize giving opportunities with your family, friends, co-workers or social group this holiday season using United Way of Central Iowa's Holiday Helping Hand guide.