• It Truly Is Better to Give Than to Receive

    by Meri Grogan Director of Administration and Finance | November 17, 2023

    It’s no secret that we are entering prime fundraising and donation season, which officially kicks off the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, called Giving Tuesday. In fact, more than 30% of annual donations occur between Thanksgiving and the new year with many of those gifts occurring in the final three days of the year, according to Assistance League, a network of philanthropic programs united to change communities.

    Why is December such a popular month for giving? Many would say it is because of the tax benefits, which are a factor. However, at Syverson Strege we believe it is because the holidays bring out the giver in all of us, and as a company we donate 50% of our budget between Thanksgiving and Christmas to organizations that support our primary focuses: food insecurity and financial literacy.

    We support several of the food banks in central Iowa through food drives, volunteering, sponsoring events and promoting nonprofits through our social media. As an example, Syverson Strege and Shive-Hattery celebrated the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game this fall with a “penny wars” competition which raised more than $1,500 for the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC). 

    As a financial planning firm, we believe that financial literacy should begin at a young age and continue into adulthood. That is why Syverson Strege continues to support and provide resources to Junior Achievement of Central Iowa. We have participated in the Stock Market Challenge, Bowl-A-Thon, Mini-Golf and volunteered on numerous occasions at JA Finance Park, as well as with Biz Town. In fact, we were so inspired by what JA is doing that a few years ago we developed our own two-day financial literacy class called Financial Foundations that we offer free to individuals ages 18-40. This course is offered once a year and has been very successful in helping young adults get started on their financial journey. You can learn more about Financial Foundations here.

    Syverson Strege also provides donation dollars to every staff member at the beginning of each calendar year to direct to a charity of their choosing. A few years back we were introduced to a nonprofit, Grateful, that helps individuals reach nonprofits in one place, and it has been helpful in streamlining the giving process. We also use Grateful to send giving cards to our clients to say “thank you” for referring a friend or colleague to us. 

    There are many other ways that Syverson Strege and our team members give back to the community year-round, both individually and as a team. You can find a full list of the organizations our team members support here.

    Giving takes shape in many ways at Syverson Strege, and we love it because it fosters empathy and contributes to the betterment of society. It also creates connection and for me personally it reiterates what I have always felt: It is better to give than receive. 

    As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” 

    If you would like to visit with us about your philanthropic planning, call 515-225-6000 for a complimentary, no-obligation, confidential consultation.


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