With the start of the New Year, and with the recent holidays behind us, one thought is prevalent and in the forefront of my mind—we all have a world of opportunity before us. The feeling of renewal that accompanies ringing in a new year makes this time of personal reflection a natural fit. Now is as good a time as any for each of us to take a moment to reflect on our own experiences, roles, and responsibilities as they pertain to the state of our families, our local communities, and our nation.

There is no doubt about it—we are living in divisive times. Our society is being torn apart by the extremes. There are tremendous inequalities, and we are constantly being bombarded with negativity, bad news, character assassinations, foul language, and an overall culturally poisonous environment. What has been the most disconcerting to me was a recent article I read comparing the fall of the Roman Empire to the apparent decline of the United States and the role and position our families and our communities play in this current state.

However, I believe in the future. I believe there is hope for our children, grandchildren, extended families, communities, and nation. But we have to think differently and come up with new approaches and new ways of tackling our societal issues—and that is what these 2019 blogs will be all about. We hope to turn the tide of decline into a wave of ascent using all the philanthropic good in today’s society and advancing it with new donor-focused thinking, new ideas, and new tools and techniques. We will explore human motivations, the aging process, and how technology can address all these societal challenges.


“We have to think differently and come up with new approaches and new ways of tackling our societal issues...”


I will lay out the great opportunities that lay in front of us—us, collectively as a family and local community, and for us as individuals. For we each have an opportunity in our own little world to make a difference and to change the direction in which we are headed.

Duty, Honor, Country

Based on my recent reflections, I can see the impact of my upbringing, my college experience, and my different life experiences. Having attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, I have found that the motto “Duty, Honor, Country” has been at the core of my life since graduation. As I consider those solemn words, and based on my experiences, I’m reminded that I can do my own little part to take advantage of the opportunities that lay ahead of us to facilitate change for the better. One person doing a little can affect the direction of our country and provide some momentum for an overall societal benefit impacting individuals, families, and our hometowns.

Keys to Transcendence

For our 2019 blogs, we will share with you how we can each do our part to improve our lives, our families, our communities, and our nation. In the blogs to come, we will share with you key components of The Life Journey of Aspirational Giving © – the giving that transcends beyond ourselves to a higher calling and extends to our families, friends, those in need, our environment, and our country. We will explore the concept of gerotranscendence - how our “giving” evolves with age as we continue on our own life journey.

We will also share with you how your life skills, talents, and experiences can be used for good and to help those in need. We will explore and help you answer the key questions to identify, realize, and apply action steps to help you achieve a much more fulfilling, meaningful, and satisfying life that will benefit all—especially those less fortunate. We will lay out a process to address these Seven Essential Questions of Smart Giving℠.

“One person doing a little can affect the direction of our country and provide some momentum for an overall societal benefit.”

A Holistic Perspective on Giving

While my primary expertise is in financial giving, the Seven Questions deal with all kinds of giving that relate to your time, talent, ties, and treasure. In the upcoming blogs, we will address in layman’s terms the relationship of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, to include self-transcendence needs, and their relationship to the aging gerotranscendence as defined by Swedish sociologist Lars Tornstam. We will highlight the tremendous opportunities available for each of us to take advantage of utilizing technology during our increased health and longevity—if we are so fortunate to experience both.

So stay tuned! It’s our goal this year to help each of you understand and empower you with process, tools, and techniques on how to take advantage of your own unique life experiences, talents, skills, and education to “do good”. We want to help you do your part to make and direct our societal resources to help those in need and to bring more meaning and significance to your own life while perpetuating your own personal and family values.

Let's do some good!


Coming Next: What is Aspirational Giving?


©2019 Aspire to Give®. All Rights Reserved. Greg Doepke is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® and a Certified Financial Planner®. Greg serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association for Advisors in Philanthropy and as the Philanthropist in Residence at Auburn University’s Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. As the founder of Aspire to Give® Greg educates and equips individuals, families, business owners, and foundations with both traditional and leading-edge philanthropic tools and techniques for smart, meaningful, and impactful giving. You can contact Greg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Start Your Giving Journey Today

If you are interested in learning more about Aspire to Give®'s pursuit to advance philanthropy through donor-focused education, social innovation, collaboration, and advocacy, please reach out to Greg Doepke: Greg@AspiretoGive.com

Disclosure: Greg Doepke is the founder and principal of Aspire to Give®, a social enterprise that donates 100% of profits to charity.
The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are not representative of the views of ACG Advisory Services, Inc. or the Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc. of Midlothian, Virginia. Each client and prospective client agrees, as a condition of precedent to his/her/its access to Aspire to Give®’s website to release and hold harmless ACG Advisory Services, Inc. and Actuarial Consulting Group, Inc., their officers, directors, owners, employees, and agents from any and all adverse consequences resulting from any of his/her/its actions and/or omissions which are independent of his/her/its receipt of personalized advice from Aspire to Give® or Gregory W. Doepke.