As the board chair for a local education foundation, I have to confess that what we do as an organization is a bit strange. Most foundations use their endowments to generate money that they give out as grants. We volunteer a ton of time to raise a bunch of money so that we can give it all away. Why?
Because it is fun.
It is fun to create something, especially with other people. It is fun to support programs that make a positive difference in children’s lives. It is fun to know that the work you do helps teachers teach and students learn. It is fun to turn your life and your community into the kind of place where you want to be.
Giving is one way to create something that lasts. It is one of the many reasons why charitable giving feels so good and is a core element of our financial wellbeing. We enjoy making a difference and using money with broader impact and purpose.
What if we thought about taxes in this way — a vehicle for giving, for creating something valuable and meaningful together? What would be different? What would need to be different about taxes to imbue them with this sense of purpose and generosity? How can we bring our experiences of raising and spending public revenues closer to the good vibes we get when we make charitable donations? I’d love to hear what you think.