The Power of “WE”

April 18, 2019 - Susan Jenevein
3 Min read

On March 27, I joined colleagues, teachers, students, A-list performers and international speakers in celebrating Texas’ WE Day in Downtown Dallas, a movement launched by brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger. As humanitarians, activists and social entrepreneurs, the Kielburgers founded a family of organizations dedicated to the power of “WE” – bringing people together to change the world. Specifically working with youth, their vision connects the rising generation with opportunities to empower and engage with global and social issues.

We are excited to host Craig for an upcoming private client event where he will share ways for parents and children to make caring “cool.” As Director of Philanthropy at the firm, I am inspired by this message, and as I work with client families and their foundations, I understand the desire for them to make impact in the local, national and even global community. From experiencing WE Day and through my own experiences with our philanthropy services, I’ve put together some key takeaways when it comes to create change together and having a “WE” mentality:

  • Generosity is transmitted intergenerationally. Craig and Marc credit their parents for providing strong support of their charitable efforts from the beginning. The elder Kielburgers modeled generosity and provided significant support while encouraging their children.
  • Powerful service and philanthropy can start at a young age. The WE Movement shares a key belief with Tolleson Philanthropy Services; meaningful giving and service can start very early in life. Craig was twelve when he founded what became the WE Movement, and now millions of school aged kids are raising funds and serving others.
  • Good mentoring and advice are critical to great philanthropy. Deeply impactful giving is almost always shaped by past experiences, both positive and negative, and to be successful there needs to be a focused vision and sound advice. Our Philanthropy Services team brings decades of accumulated knowledge and experience to our client families.
  • Know your “why.” Impactful giving derives from a clear purpose. Craig and Marc are intent and dedicated with their vision for the WE Movement, which has likely required them to forgo great giving opportunities to remain focused on their mission. The result is a world-wide effort to create a generation of socially conscious leaders. Similarly, we see this also happen with our most impactful foundations. Over time, they keep sight of their purposes and continually ask themselves if they are adhering to their missions.

In his latest book, “WEconomy,” Craig said he learned an important philanthropic approach from Warren Buffet: “Be a hunter, not a founder.” If someone else is doing great philanthropic work, join them. Only start something if no one else is doing it. Getting involved and starting traditions to give back doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, we recommend this as a strategy for families to do together. Family giving is another impactful way. I echo Craig’s belief that changing the world is possible, WE can do it together – and Tolleson is here to help you find ways in which to do it.