Laura Solomon is an attorney dedicated to providing specialized, but affordable, legal services to nonprofit, charitable organizations, foundations, business leagues, political action committees, and philanthropic individuals. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST
ZAK: I'm Jewish and in our tradition we have this thing called tzedakah. That's Hebrew word that translates to righteousness. But really tzedakah is this ethical obligation we have. And one of the core tenants of this obligation is that we're supposed to give ten-percent or our income to charity each year or to people or organizations in need. The ten-percent principle is something I heard my whole life. But one thing I never learned, at least explicitly, is how to give. And that's where today's advice, from Laura Soloman comes in.
LAURA: So, I'm a lawyer. I have a law firm devoted to forming and representing charitable organizations and working with philanthropic individuals to achieve their charitable missions philanthropic visions. I think people benefit from having philanthropic mentors, role-models. I was blessed in growing up with a grandmother who was a survivor of the holocaust who would get her reparation check from Germany and we would sit down at her kitchen table in Washington Heights, New York and write check after check until it was all gone for charitable purposes. And she had a catch-phrase. In German she'd say, "the last dress has no pockets," meaning you don't hoard it. You don't keep it for yourself. Give freely with a full-heart and give now and so I think finding a philanthropist of a generous person that you look up to as a role model can be incredibly helpful.
ZAK: I love that. And so you had your grandmother as your philanthropic mentor or at least one of them. What are some questions that I might ask my philanthropic mentor once I find them?
LAURA: How have your priorities changed over time? Have you always been passionate about the environment or last year were you more interested in addressing racial disparities? I think it's important to understand that, you know, our thoughts and feeling change over time and therefore our priorities and therefore our philanthropic priorities.
ZAK: What's the objective of having the mentor?
LAURA: I think you can learn to be good at philanthropy just like you can learn to be good at something else.
ZAK: Like, what do you think makes a compatible mentor/mentee relationship in this dynamic?
LAURA: Somebody who's open to talking about it. Not feeling as through money or philanthropy is a taboo subject but one that should be part of our everyday lives and part of the conversation. You know, one of the things I think COVID has shown us is that we all have this shared vulnerability. But we can also all share in the repair.