Donor-advised funds – Powerful giving tool needs sharpening

The fastest-growing tool in the philanthropic arena is the donor-advised fund. DAFs are 501(c)(3) philanthropic accounts established at a public charity. They allow donations of cash, property, appreciated assets and more – and donors receive immediate tax deductions. The DAF legally controls the money from the point of donation. Subsequently, donors can advise the DAF…

Coherent Philanthropy: Six lessons for families

Philanthropy is “coherent” when it is logical, well-organized, well-planned and sensible – as well as easy to understand and articulate. Over the years, I have helped dozens of families, foundations, businesses and family offices achieve coherence in their philanthropy. In the realm of family philanthropy, here are six key lessons. (In a future column, I will…

New study outlines unprecedented financial risk to many nonprofits

Across the United States, more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations engage in remarkable work to transform lives, communities and the planet. Unfortunately, these organizations currently face a wide range of growing pressures. Consider these facts: In 2013, nonprofit organizations employed more than 10.6 percent of the workforce (14.4 million). More individuals are employed by nonprofits…

Six trends to affect philanthropic landscape in 2018

When it comes to the world of philanthropy, 2018 promises to be transformational. Pessimists are concerned about the impact of new federal tax laws, the increase in income inequality, and the growing need for critical social services. Optimists see more reason for hope, believing that we have entered the “golden age of giving.” Watch for…

Next-generation donors will revolutionize philanthropy

We are currently engaged in the largest wealth transfer in history. Over 50 years, between 2007 and 2061, an estimated $59 trillion will pass from older to younger generations. In addition, many wealthy millennials, like Mark Zuckerberg and his peers, are generating their own substantial wealth. It is expected that up to half of this…

This Thanksgiving, carve more than the turkey

Soon, many of us will gather around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends — to indulge in an abundance of delicious traditional foods and give thanks for abundant blessings and freedoms. The upcoming winter holidays are a wonderful and highly anticipated time to connect with loved ones and indulge in a certain amount of…