Philanthropy

Incorporating Philanthropy into Your Financial Plan

Tools, techniques, and philosophies you can use today

 

Key Takeaways:

  • While corporate tax deductions for giving are limited, corporate social responsibility is on the rise.

  • Making giving into a family activity can also be helpful in preparing heirs for the responsible use of wealth.

  • Make sure your advisor understands your family’s values and goals. Philanthropy is not just about tax and estate planning.

 

Purposeful philanthropy is the art of thoughtfully, intentionally and purposefully integrating the passion, spirit, and commitment of philanthropy into the fabric of our family system. With record numbers of boomers reaching retirement age and with a new generation of younger people looking to make gifts with social impact, the landscape of philanthropy has changed dramatically.

If you are a decision-maker or influencer at your company, consider this: Corporate giving grew by 12 percent over the past year to nearly $18 billion—but represented just 0.7 percent of corporate profits. Is that really enough? What needs to change to incent corporations to share more with those in need?


Experts say corporate tax deductions for giving are limited. This is part of the reason for lower giving rates. But corporate social responsibility seems to be on the rise, and shareholder/consumer pressure is the best way to raise corporate awareness about community involvement and responsibility.

Also, experts say charities need to do a better job of addressing the ROI a corporation receives when it is a strong donor. For instance, some companies donate heavily to education in every community in which they have a presence. They do this for two reasons:

·         First, they believe a strong community and an educated workforce are good for them.

·         Second, they want to be identified as a good, responsible member of the community. They view corporate philanthropy as a way to build good will.

The impact conversation needs to happen with businesses. Philanthropy does not have to be about giving it away, but instead can really be a two-way street.

Americans as a group historically give around 2 percent of their incomes to charity. Is that likely to change pro or con as record numbers of boomers enter retirement years and a record amount of wealth will transfer into other hands over the next 15 years?


Philanthropic experts say affluent families that make giving into a regular activity are better positioned to prepare heirs for the responsible use of wealth. The family members can explore giving options and report back. This can not only teach giving wisely, it can also bring the family closer together.

Whether you are not you give at least 2-percent of your income to charitable causes, the “percentage of income” ratio can be a poor metric. Instead, measure giving as a percentage of your assets. Americans have less cash than any other asset class today, and until Americans and their financial advisors understand this, the percentage won’t change. There are many more effective ways to give that are simply underutilized.

Biggest misconceptions about philanthropy

·         First, many more people would give if they knew they right way to do so, especially from a tax-advantaged way. If you don’t have experience with planned giving and you advisor is not able to help you, see if he or she can point you to a planned giving specialist within their network.

·         Second, it’s all about tax savings and estate planning. In reality, the key to unleashing your family’s generosity and increasing its satisfaction around the impact of giving lies in understanding your most deeply held values and interests. Make sure your advisors understand those values, too.

 

Ask about smart gifts such as Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts and Donor Advised Funds, etc.

Follow these three lessons from donors on effective giving:

1. Give with a warm hand. Donors who have the most impact and feel the greatest satisfaction are, first of all, ALIVE. They are actively, directly and personally deciding the use of their funds, matching their most compelling interests to the compelling needs of the institutions that best address causes they are [concerned] about.

2. Give with a warm heart. This, of course, is about the passion donors feel for the cause, the mission, their personal quest. It’s core DNA for them; it embodies both the soul and heart of their values. My gift is for the benefit of ________, where it is essential for each person to fill in that blank, however [he or she chooses].

3. Give with a cool head. Give smart, not just with your heart. Use your advisors and encourage them to talk to each other on your behalf. If you want your giving to achieve balance, use your smart parts. Be strategic, and understand how and why to give, not just when. Invest in your philanthropic plan. Not just with CRTs, CLTs, CGAs, insurance, all the rest that pay at death, but with a stream of more modest gifts that can start up your plan while you are alive.


Conclusion

Planned giving is one of the most impactful things you can do with your hard-earned wealth. Just make sure you do your homework about where you decide to give, how you give, and who helps you give. You and your family will be glad you did.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Incorporating Philanthropy into Your Financial Plan, Part 1

Smart giving strategies for every economic climate


Key Takeaways:

  • As record numbers of boomers approach retirement age, their focus shifts to distribution of assets rather than accumulating wealth.

  • Affluent millennials look for ways to have impact rather than just give away dollars.

  • Do your homework before you give.

  • A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a perfect giving tool for all economic climates. Sock away money in the good years, and give from it in the lean years.

The latest Giving USA data shows that charitable donations rose for the fifth consecutive year to nearly $360 billion—passing its pre-recession peak and likely to continue the upward trend.  Researchers indicated that another recession could hurt giving slightly, even though the number of aging boomers coming into liquidity events should offset a downturn to some extent.

As more and more boomers turn 65 every day, the focus shifts to distribution of assets rather than to thinking solely about accumulation of wealth. Giving is a function of individual capacity, which too often is a perception rather than an actual quantified ability.

Giving is not just for boomers and retirees

More and more wealthy younger people are giving generously earlier in their lives. Are millennials really more charitably inclined than boomers and Gen Xers, or are we just hearing more about the good deeds of extremely wealthy tech entrepreneurs?

Experts on philanthropy say that millennials have a more overt concern about the world around them. The problems of the world are very much “front and center” for them because of the Internet and its social media outlets. That said, millennials look for ways to have impact rather than just give away dollars.

Is charitable giving really tied to the economy and financial markets?

Many experts believe there is a tremendous linkage between levels of giving and the types of giving and investment and economic cycles. Charitable giving rises in good times, and, sadly, falls when times are tough. A study of charitable giving during recessions since 1967 found that giving during recessions dropped by slightly more than 1 percent on average, while it rose significantly during the good years. This poses a serious dilemma for charities that don’t have endowments to help cushion the drying up of charitable giving during the lean years. It also creates strategic challenges for family foundations and individual philanthropists who during the lean times see greater need in the human services arena.

We know of one family that was faced with having to reduce its commitment to environmental causes during the economic blizzard of 2008-09. As the family’s wealth and its foundation capital recovered dramatically post-crisis, they are giving even more today they did prior to 2008 to environmental causes they support.

As for good and bad years in the economy, a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a perfect tool. Sock away money in your good years, and give from it in the lean years. For donors approaching retirement, the same logic applies. Fund the DAF during your highly taxed working years, get the deduction then, and in your retirement years, make gifts from the DAF. For those who are more technically minded, or if you are the owner of a closely held business or commercial real estate, gifting such property to a DAF can be a smart move. Such transfers can be part of a business exit plan if you have philanthropic goals and want to become more involved in your community post-exit.

How can people of means to have a more “balanced portfolio” of giving?
The most effective philanthropy needs to be driven not by balance but by three things: head, heart and mind. And not necessarily in that order.

Giving to arts and culture has always been strong. People strongly support a wide range of causes that they’re passionate about--and there is some status assigned to supporting the arts. Giving to human services is a challenge with program effectiveness and real change. While arts received larger portions of giving, a balanced portfolio is generally not advised. Much of the giving research indicates that depth, not width, is advisable for donors. More impact can be achieved, more data evaluated by narrowing focus.

We know from the world of business how critical sustainability is to long-term success. Why should it be any different within the realm of charity? It’s imperative that philanthropists and foundations look critically at the sustainability of the organizations and projects they are funding. Failure to think “sustainably” creates a great risk charitable dollars won’t have as much impact or as lasting an impact as the giver might hope.

Purposeful philanthropy is the art of thoughtfully, intentionally and purposefully integrating the passion, spirit and commitment of philanthropy into the fabric of your family system. When you encourage each member of your family to participate in giving that honors the individual values and interests of your family members, there is an almost inevitable balancing that will occur in the grant-making and giving process.

A good next step for a donor hoping to be more strategic and impactful in giving would be exploring a Community Foundation and books such as, Inspired Legacies by Tracy Gary or Give Smart by Tierney and Fleishman.

Philanthropy is not necessarily about giving away to charities. It is about having impact. It is about the sustainability for your children and grandchildren of the world you live in. It is about the recognition that every dollar you invest is impact investing because it is impacting something.

Conclusion

In Part 2 of this series, we will discuss charitable tools, techniques and philosophies that you can use today to add value to your planned giving goals.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Teaching Kids and Young Adults about the Power of Giving; Part 2

Teaching Kids and Young Adults about the Power of Giving

You can have this discussion any time of year. Second in a series

 

Key Takeaways

  • Philanthropy can help smooth family friction is there is a common cause they all support.

  • Empower the next generation by letting them make charitable decisions on their own. It’s a very effective way of helping kids and young adults mature.

  • Even families that don’t get along well can find ways to get everyone involved in the giving process.

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of introducing children to giving and re-introducing young adults in your life to philanthropy as well. Giving not only supports worthy causes, but empowers young people to make financial decisions and helps sustain family values.

But, not all families are in sync about many things (big surprise), including the causes they support. Does that mean they shouldn’t give? Of course not.

Even if there is significant disharmony in an extended family, most will rally behind a cause with only a few outliers not participating. In those situations, it’s important to find something that is a passion for the ones who are out of the center--or who at least feel like they’re out of the center. If we can find an alternative cause while maintaining the family’s primary values and goals, it brings the family together and helps many deserving people in the process.

That’s because the children who always felt like they were on the outside, suddenly feel like they’re on the inside, and it’s helping everybody. What families should NOT do is say: “We’re just going to take a vote and the majority rules.”

When that happens, the person on the outside, or the little kids [who] are on the outside, will feel even more disenfranchised. But if somehow we can focus on something that they’re really interested in, you can bring harmony back into the family.

Three things are really important when a family rallies around philanthropy:

1.      Philanthropy, in and of itself, can help the family communicate and heal some of the old stuff that they haven’t been able to heal before.

2.      It’s okay if a family has a main philanthropic mission that not everybody agrees with.

3.      If you allow the next generation the freedom to select things that they’re interested in on their own, you’re empowering them. By letting them know that you believe in their ability to make a good decision. It’s a very effective way of helping young adults mature.

Sometimes as you get more into the “for what purpose” questions—why is it that you’re really into this?—you’ll find that they have some of the same basic targets even though they’re doing it different ways.

I was at a professional conference recently and one of the speakers was a young woman whose great-grandfather owned the patent for barbed wire? Her family had a large foundation, and each generation received a certain amount of money to give away. As you can imagine, the kids were giving a lot of money to a very liberal think tank organization and grandma was giving a lot of money to a very conservative think tank organization. That was causing friction because grandma was just negating them. But, as they started talking about their conflicting goals, both generations came to understand more about the other generation’s goals and values and why they supported the organizations they did.

Long story short, the liberal and conservative sides of the family still have their differences, but now the family foundation sponsors a debate between the two think tank organizations they support. Sometimes if you get deeper into what is behind the passion, there may be some synergy that we didn’t realize existed.

A lot of times we don’t take the time to really understand the other person’s reason, and when we understand the reason, we find it’s a similar reason that we have except the way the other person is approaching the problem is different from our approach.

Conclusion

Whether a young person in your family feels like they’re in the mainstream, or an outlier, the more you can empower them to make their own giving decisions, the more likely they are to instill those values into their own children and the generation that follows.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

 

 

It’s Never Too Early to Teach Kids about the Power of Giving

…..And adult children are never too old to relearn. First in a series


Key Takeaways:

  • Listening and communication are keys to successful giving.

  • Children as young as five or six can be introduced to the power of giving.

  • Philanthropy can help bring families closer together.

  • It’s okay if a family has a main philanthropic mission that not everybody agrees with.

 

The concept of “philanthropy by design” is gaining traction as charitable organizations increasingly understand that successful giving starts by tapping into the donor’s passions—not the funding needs of the organization.

Let’s talk about the next generation a little bit and how to get the kids involved. Where do you start and at what ages, and then how do you step up as they get older?

Children can start giving at any age. It doesn’t have to be formalized philanthropy. A client of ours had a child who started giving when he was five or six. The son was playing T-ball and our client, his dad, was trying to teach his son the concept of philanthropy and helping other people. He said, “I want you to think about what we can do to help someone else.”

The boy had a kid on his T-ball team who didn’t have a mitt, so he was borrowing a glove from everybody else. Our client and his son went out and bought a glove and gave it to the kid. Just that concept of helping someone else and getting the adrenaline rush of seeing the difference you’re making in somebody’s life can start really early.


Stake your kids so they can set their own charitable goals

Next, giving kids a small amount of money and letting them decide what to do with it can be very powerful and rewarding. I had another client who started this practice when his kids were about 6 and 8 years old. Each child received $500 to give away, not to spend on themselves. They had to do research on the worthy causes and they had to bring their intended organizations to the family “grant committee,” which was mom, dad, grandma and grandpa. They talked about it Christmas afternoon or the day after Christmas.

 

Children have things that they’re concerned about. One of my clients had a son who was 15 when he started talking about giving. The boy was concerned that some kids at his school couldn’t hear well and that it was affecting their grades. The teen actually created a nonprofit and went to the audiologists in town and got them to volunteer to give [hearing] exams to the affected kids. Then they hearing experts got the teen in touch with the people who sell hearing aids for school age kids.

The point is, you don’t have to wait until your kids are old enough to understand money from the standpoint of having a part-time job or having to pay for some of their own expenses like gas, movie tickets or trendy clothes. No, they don’t have to be 15, 18 or even 20 years old. You can start at a much younger age, and the earlier you start, the more they’ll start identifying things that are important to them. By the time those children reach their teens, they can be pretty serious about giving.

So, what happens when Generation Two in a family is already in their 20s or maybe even their 30s?

If they’re in their 20s and 30s, those are kind of interesting years because normally they’re just getting started with adult responsibilities like budgeting and paying rent, utilities, credit cards and other bills. It’s almost like you’re starting over with them. It’s like when they were little and you were giving them small opportunities to make a difference. But it makes it easier in terms of the family situation because there are limited resources, and so together they can make a bigger impact than they would have been able to do separately.
So, if as a group, if there are two or three siblings, they can decide together about a couple of things that they really want to make a difference on, then by pooling their money they can do something that will really make a difference rather than just give a little bit to different charities. In many ways, you use the same process with those in their 20s and 30s that you use with teens.


Conclusion
It’s never too early to teach your kids and grandkids about the power of giving and it’s never too late to remind your adult children about philanthropy. Even if their current financial situation makes it difficult to give a lot—the act of giving will make them feel better, will help those in need, and will set a great example for their own children.

By the way, you can give all year round, not just during the Holidays and before end of year tax deadlines.

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.

Flash Report - Five Reasons to Make Philanthropy a Family Affair.

Getting your family involved in charitable giving can create a powerful legacy

A growing number of successful people have a strong urge to “pay it forward” by financially supporting causes and organizations that are near and dear to their hearts.

Many of you already make regular and sizable charitable contributions. And we know from research that one key reason successful people like you want to become even wealthier is to help other people increase their own success and advance in the world.

But have you gotten your family involved in philanthropy? If not, you could be missing a truly massive opportunity to teach your children and other loved ones about smart financial decision making and impart key financial values that can guide them throughout their lives.

Round up the kids

If you’re like many people we work with, your deepest financial concerns are focused on taking care of your family and ensuring they enjoy lives that are financially stable and financially responsible.

 

Click here to read more:

Five reasons to Make Philanthropy a Family Affair-Flash Report

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.