Six years, six important lessons about philanthropy

Six years ago, I began working with individuals, families, foundations and businesses across the United States — helping them design, implement and evaluate a wide variety of ways to make philanthropy more impactful for themselves and their communities. I have been privileged to assist dozens of clients. Plus, I have written 72 columns on strategic…

Plan well to avoid random acts of giving

Well-off individuals and families recognize the need to plan for their future security and their legacies — and often go to great lengths to do so. Usually, they work closely with experts who make up three legs of the planning table and help them achieve sophisticated tax-, financial- and estate-planning goals. Tax experts advise about…

Creating a “safe zone” with family philanthropy

When it comes to communicating around money and values, many families face a significant challenge. Some families never talk about these issues. Others talk about them — but with difficulty. Family philanthropy can be an important and safe area in which to commence a family conversation about money and values — creating new and effective…

Money and mission were never meant to be apart

As the world’s problems become more complex and urgent, traditional models of philanthropic support are not keeping pace. This lag can be blamed in part on the fact that regulations require foundations to donate only 5 percent of their assets. Typically, the remaining 95 percent is invested for growth. Some philanthropic thought leaders are addressing…

Six trends that will set the pace for philanthropy in 2016

With record levels of giving, new approaches to marshaling philanthropic assets for impact, and better approaches to philanthropic strategy, 2015 was a great year for philanthropy. This trend will continue in 2016. Increasingly, leaders in businesses, foundations and families understand that philanthropy is more than the merely transactional act of writing checks to favorite nonprofits….

Corporate giving hits $17.8B in the U.S.

When it comes to corporate giving, the news is encouraging. More U.S. companies are engaging in smart and strategic community investment initiatives — and seeing positive results from their efforts. The 2015 Community Involvement Study conducted by Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship found that: Corporate community involvement contributes to key business goals — including…

Thanksgiving: Feast or “Famine?”

Soon, people across the United States will gather around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends to indulge in abundant, delicious food — and to give thanks for their many blessings and freedoms. Typically, we eat and drink to excess and enjoy leftovers that will last for days. Dinnertime conversation ranges from expressing gratitude for…

Impact investing gets IRS boost

Impact investing is one of the hottest topics in the philanthropic sector. It involves investments made with the intention of generating not just a financial return, but also a social or environmental impact — the double bottom line. Until just recently, some foundation directors with an interest in impact investing felt restrained by their fiduciary…