Helping your clients get organized: Structure is a critical step in multi-generational philanthropy

Instilling philanthropic values in children and grandchildren may sound simple, but where do you begin? More and more, wealth advisors are being asked by their clients to weigh in on strategies for fostering a family’s financial values, which frequently include charitable giving traditions. 

An important first step in creating any multi-generational philanthropy plan is to advise clients to consider organizing their giving, such as through a family donor advised fund (DAF). The process of organizing charitable giving itself creates much-needed clarity around the family’s philanthropic purpose. Without an organized approach to family giving, it is easy for children and grandchildren to get confused about their parents’ and grandparents’ processes for making decisions about which nonprofits to support. 

A Common Story

“Before we got everything organized, our family seemed to take a shotgun approach to charitable giving,” commented the daughter of an entrepreneur who formed a family DAF upon the sale of a business. 

Her mother, the entrepreneur, had underestimated the confusion: “Nearly every check I’d ever written to a charity was aligned with my commitment to supporting a healthy workforce in our community. Without a healthy workforce, my business would never have been successful. Now, though, I see that because I was not involving the rest of my family in my giving and explaining why I was supporting certain causes, it might have looked chaotic to them.

Establishing a fund at GCF can be a very effective solution for many of your clients who are launching a multi-generational giving strategy.

Here’s How We Help

  • GCF offers tools that are extremely flexible and can be used to engage an extended family in the process of charitable giving. DAFs, for example, are popular as they allow your client to name children and grandchildren as successor advisors. 
  • When your client organizes charitable giving through a fund at GCF, they can make a large transfer of cash or marketable securities that are immediately eligible for a charitable deduction. Your client then can recommend gifts to favorite charities from the fund when the time is right. This is especially useful when clients sell a business or experience a large influx of taxable income in a single tax year. 
  • Establishing a DAF at GCF can be a much better choice for your family-oriented clients than those offered through a brokerage firm. GCF provides the opportunity for multi-generational successor advisors. Your clients, as well as their children and grandchildren, are part of a community of giving and have opportunities to tap into GCF’s community knowledge, as well as collaborate with other donors who share similar interests. 
  • GCF can work with your client and their family on a charitable giving plan that supports strategic grant making, family philanthropy and provides opportunities to gain deep knowledge about local issues and nonprofits making a difference. (Learn more about The GCF Difference.

We welcome the opportunity to work with you and any of your philanthropic clients to establish an enduring and rewarding family philanthropy program that is customized to meet each client’s unique purpose.

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