Generosity: Family Business Perspective
“The fact that God would entrust His resources to anyone at all is an amazing thing,” says Charles Monroe, CEO of Card-Monroe Corp (CMC). CMC is a family-owned manufacturer of tufting equipment for the carpet industry. Charles and his family have been involved with The Generosity Trust since the 1990s, and we had the pleasure of sitting down with him and two of his children: Lucas and Zach. Lucas is the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at CMC, and Zach serves as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
The Monroes see giving as a joyful obligation. According to Charles, “God owns it all. With CMC, we say we don’t own anything. We’re just stewards of what God has given us. That’s the case with everything.” Giving starts with a generosity of heart that comes from God, and there’s great joy in that. “I think that joy comes from God,” says Lucas. “He’s the biggest giver ever. He’s put the desire to give into us by making us in his image, and that joy is reflected through us when we give.”
Both Lucas and Zach want to continue their family’s legacy of generosity by modeling generosity to their children, the same way they saw generosity modeled in their parents. “For us as kids, generosity was more caught than taught,” says Lucas. Zach adds in by saying, “children watch what their parents do, how they behave, and where they put their priorities.” Both Zach and Lucas have already begun including their young kids in some of their giving. Zach says, “I let my nine-year-old know why we give. We include him in that conversation of generosity, and we can have that discussion as a family.” Lucas remarks on the joy of seeing his child display a generous heart, “It’s cool to see your 4-year-old get a $20 bill for their birthday and say she wants to put it in the church offering.”
It was a desire to give to Christian ministries efficiently and effectively that led Charles to open his first donor-advised fund with The Generosity Trust over 20 years ago. Charles then opened donor-advised funds for each of his children, which made it easier for them to get involved with Christian ministries. “Dad setting up a donor-advised fund helped prime the pump for us continuing his legacy,” says Lucas. “We were able to experience the joy of giving and see the importance of putting into it yourself.” Both Lucas and Zach plan on letting their kids become a part of their donor-advised funds as they get older. “We want to let them have a space to give to things they have a passion for,” says Zach, “and the donor-advised fund is a great vehicle for allocating money to ministries that they care about.”
For the Monroes, generosity always comes back to gratitude. “God has such a generous heart. Giving is just a natural outcome from having received from God’s generosity,” says Charles.
At The Generosity Trust, we help families like the Monroes facilitate Christian generosity and build a family legacy. Visit our donor-advised funds’ page to learn more about how to streamline your charitable giving.
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