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Giving with Meaning

September 30, 2020

The Ashish & Mona Khanna Family Charitable Gift Fund at CFT

Giving has always been a priority for Ashish and Mona Khanna. After moving from Chicago to North Texas in 2015, they knew that finding ways to invest in their local community would be key to achieving their philanthropic goals. In 2018, Ashish met CFT staff at a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) event, and the Khannas established the Ashish & Mona Khanna Family Charitable Gift Fund, a donor-advised fund at CFT, later that year. Unbeknownst to the Khannas at the time, this introduction to CFT would deeply impact the nature of their family’s giving after their son, Ayan, was born.

In February 2019, after Ayan’s birth, the Khannas participated in a GiveWisely class with CFT’s Elizabeth Liser, where they completed CFT’s Identifying Values and Defining Passions card exercises. The Defining Passions cards, which depicted different faith groups, professions, and cultures, provided experiences they could relate to. Similarly, the Identifying Values exercise helped them identify their top three family values. Education was one of Ashish and Mona’s shared passions.

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When Ashish and Mona Khanna were preparing for their son Ayan’s arrival, they had no idea just how challenging the road ahead would be. Born 10 weeks early, Ayan was 2 pounds and 1 ounce, and remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Baylor University Medical Center for more than six weeks. This time shaped and influenced every aspect of Ashish and Mona’s life, including their philanthropic giving. Following Ayan’s stay in the NICU, Ashish and Mona learned of the KangaREAD pilot program at Baylor – a take on “kangaroo care,” in which skin-to-skin, parent-child contact is encouraged. Research shows that reading to a baby in the NICU has a positive influence on their weight gain, discharge dates, language development, and literacy.

Because education is a shared passion for Ashish and Mona, making a charitable investment in the KangaREAD program made perfect sense. With the tools and resources from CFT’s GiveWisely class in their purview, the Khannas made a grant from their donor-advised fund at CFT to the KangaREAD program at Baylor in October 2019. The combination of personal experience and shared values made the Khannas’ giving even more meaningful.

Read the Fall IMPACT magazine here

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