A Profile in Giving: Michelle and Scott Schiro

Planning the gift today for a greener tomorrow

Flying kites with her grandad. Body surfing with her cousins. Sunbathing on the sands of Jones Beach on Long Island, NY.

When Michelle reflects on her earliest memories of nature, she recalls the 15-minute drive to the local beach, and spending the day in the sun and sand with her extended family. As a young woman, her college years at Cornell University and a newfound (soon to be life-long friend) introduced her to the forests, to the mountains and to the beauty of trail hiking.

Michelle, Scott and their daughter

Fast forward, Michelle found herself on Wall Street building a successful career as an investment banker. The beaches, forests and mountains were now physically and emotionally miles away from the concrete jungle. While volunteering with a local nonprofit, Michelle’s experience made her ask “What are my goals beyond my next promotion? What’s my legacy?”

Michelle has been building her legacy with purpose since that moment.

With her career in finance, Michelle saw and recognized the implications of wealth, if you had access to it or not. “Over the years, I saw an ever-widening wealth gap with implications and repercussions from socio-economic to education to health care and access to nature. I wanted to find a path that would allow me to impact a multitude of these areas rather than just one.”

Relocating to the West Coast, she has repositioned her career to facilitate investors and families seeking to make a positive social and environmental impact through capitalism. Her legacy has grown beyond her career as she and husband Scott welcomed their first child, a daughter.

Thinking of their daughter, Michelle and Scott took the moment to plan for her future. After all, Michelle is a financial advisor.

After providing for their daughter and family members in their estate plans, they carved out a percentage to benefit nonprofits. Both advocates of the environment and particularly nearby green space, Michelle recalled Nature Sacred, which she had heard about through a friend and after research, supported with a year-end gift.

“I’m all about impacting multiple areas with a single investment. I love how Nature Sacred brings the environment, mental health, equity, nearby access to nature, — all together in a Sacred Place, especially in urban spaces.”

That’s why Michelle and Scott chose to name Nature Sacred as a beneficiary in their estate plans.

Michelle’s counsel to anyone, “Tomorrow is not a promise. Make your plans at a high level, and consider including philanthropy, which should be one of the easiest gifts you make.”

Now, when thinking about legacy, Michelle has this hope for her daughter and her generation.

“I hope my daughter and the generations after her have a planet, this Earth, where they can still breathe and live. One of the best legacies I can leave is my daughter — that she is aware of the privilege she has been born into and that she leads her life as a global citizen.”

Michelle and Scott’s daughter