The Joy of Giving

Welcome to the eighth installment of the Everyday Philanthropist. Since the giving season is upon us, we caught up with local philanthropist, Heidi Boyum, about the joy of giving.

At MAF, we believe that anyone has the ability to share their community for good and experience the joy of giving. Please sit down, get comfortable, and enjoy this issue of the Everyday Philanthropist—we’re delighted to share it with you!

Heidi Boyum is a board member of the Mankato Area Foundation, the former owner of Jarraff Industries, an avid volunteer, and a beloved local philanthropist. She’s supported numerous causes and projects over the years, with the most recent gift being a 75-foot tree that serves as the centerpiece for Kiwanis Holiday Lights.

People often say that there is a “joy in giving.” Is this how you would describe giving?

Yes! There is a warm feeling in the heart when you give—especially when you give to someone who isn’t expecting a “gift.”

What compels you to give?

I’ve been giving for a long time. Since I was a child, I would send my babysitting money to underprivileged children in other countries. I didn’t anticipate that the gift would come back two-fold when I received letters from the kids. They expressed gratitude and shared how much it impacted their lives. Having the ability to continue giving and expand the reach to local organizations sparks immense joy.

How does a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) help with your giving?

Having a DAF has made giving to multiple places incredibly easy. MAF provides insight into local needs and helps me discover different organizations to support that align with causes near and dear to my heart. They also vet nonprofit organizations to ensure they are in good standing and handle all the paperwork. The staff at MAF are great at making suggestions and giving you plenty of options to consider when giving that perhaps you hadn’t thought of before.

What advice would you give to someone looking to make their first gift?

Giving can be overwhelming with so many causes and organizations available. Ensuring that an organization is legit in carrying out its purpose and mission is crucial. MAF does all of this legwork for you by researching organizations. I’ve often referred to the Nonprofit Directory on their website as a quick guide.

(Editor’s note: This is the link to the Nonprofit Directory Heidi mentions: Organizations can be researched by focus area or alphabetically.)

What is your favorite cause to support?

Organizations that support cancer patients and survivors are important to me as we are all vulnerable to it. I also enjoy supporting kids and animal organizations. These gifts are my way of helping those who are the most innocent and unable to advocate for themselves.