How to multiply your legacy by transformational giving

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Do you ever wonder what kind of legacy you will leave behind? Will it be material possessions, your family business or your reputation?

Will it be the charities you supported and your servant leadership that will be honored and duplicated in generations to follow?

The Apostle Paul said, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Hundreds of generous families and business leaders are holding true to this testament, reaching out to people in need. And they are turning to a Colorado Springs-based ministry for guidance.

WaterStone is a nonprofit boutique financial ministry dedicated to empowering Christians to advance the Kingdom of God by connecting givers and their advisors, to innovative giving solutions. Sharing wealth and good fortune with others through charitable giving brings tremendous joy.

However, navigating through tax laws to reap the most benefits takes a thorough understanding of giving. That’s where WaterStone comes in.

Steve Leach, CEO of WaterStone said, “We serve givers at the intersection of faith and finance with trusted, independent counsel on technical expertise. Our team of giving advisors comes alongside stewards of family wealth, helping them nurture their heart for giving, multiply their giving impact and increase their ability to give to their favorite charities and ministries. We help people minimize taxes and heighten their joy of generosity.”

Every day, WaterStone stands witness to the transformational power of giving. Clients include entrepreneurs, oil and gas operators, ranchers, families and investors blessed to achieve success and wealth.

Over the past two years, givers have entrusted WaterStone with $125 million. Total contributions for the 2014 fiscal year reached $80 million, an astounding 70 percent increase from the prior year.

WaterStone has surpassed the $600 million mark in resources entrusted by givers. Having already distributed in excess of $400 million through grants to charities, ministries and educational institutions, WaterStone currently holds in excess of $290 million of assets. Those donor-advised funds manifest themselves in real-life, practical ways. They are the source for wells that supply drinking water to small rural villages. They build new schools for children, orphanages, churches and food pantries throughout the world. They help finance ministries that free girls from sex slavery.

In 2014, WaterStone assets were transformed into living water and passed to 1,545 charities, ministries and education institutions.

Leach attributes part of WaterStone’s ministry success to his membership in the C12 Group. Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., with more than 1,400 members, C12 is a Christian leadership development organization, dedicated to empowering business leaders to best use their position as a Christian business owner, CEO or president to share the joy of serving Christ daily.

The combination of cutting-edge management strategies, the advantages of a peer advisory roundtable and an in-depth curriculum equip Leach to achieve his vision for WaterStone. In 2011, Leach became a member of the C12 Group to seek new and exciting ways to make WaterStone shine and achieve historic milestones.

“C12 Group’s materials and peer advisory boards allow me to be candid, and talk openly about WaterStone in a transparent format,” he said. “I am able to better align the organization, put the right talent in the right position and be accountable for my decisions. … WaterStone is a fellowship of believers with a servant’s heart and C12 offers the same type of nurturing Christian fellowship.”

WaterStone continues to grow its giving community of givers, advisors and charities, and is on track to realize its vision of surpassing $1 billion of gifts by 2022. Steve Leach, with the support of Christian business leaders in the C12 group, is committed to helping people build their legacies of generosity so that the transformational power of giving will echo to future generations.

Lisa Victoria Cone is a staff writer for The C12 Group, America’s leading roundtable for Christian CEOs and owners dedicated to building great business for a greater purpose. She provides marketing and communications support and strategies for companies nationwide in a variety of industries including financial services, plastics manufacturing, health and wellness, consulting, interior design and more.