by Ken Nopar, VP-Senior Philanthropic Advisor

Most AEF donors who establish a fund have a good idea of which causes and charities they wish to support. Occasionally, however, when donors are about to embark on a charitable journey for the first time after selling a business, retiring, receiving an inheritance, or experiencing another type of liquidity event, they recognize that they can use some assistance in charitable planning.

Others who have already been active donors but want to change direction or evaluate their efforts thus far, also seek help. The events of the past few years have caused a number of donors to reassess their charitable priorities. Donors’ financial, legal, and tax advisors or their firms provide valuable input, but occasionally independent philanthropic advisory firms are brought in to help them and complement the work of their trusted advisors.

AEF is pleased to provide helpful content as part of our efforts to help our donors, and the Library for Donors is a good place to start. For those donors who need additional personal guidance to achieve their charitable goals, AEF also offers a Philanthropic Advisory Firm Referral Program to connect donors to the leading philanthropic advisory firms around the country.

These firms are able to help donors in one or more of the following areas. They can help donors:

  1. Develop a charitable mission
  2. Establish a grantmaking strategy
  3. Narrow or determine which causes to support
  4. Identify or evaluate the best non-profit organizations in geographic or issue areas
  5. Involve the next generation
  6. Facilitate family meetings about philanthropy
  7. Assess progress
  8. Evaluate impact
  9. Manage charitable giving
  10. Advise or coach donors

Some of these engagements are brief and simply help donors get started so they can move forward on their own with confidence. For more extensive engagements, these firms can serve as their clients’ philanthropic gatekeeper and do much of the work for them.

Many types of donors work with philanthropic advisors. These include donors who:

  1. Have sold or will soon sell their businesses
  2. Have or will soon receive an inheritance
  3. Were never actively involved with their parents’ DAF or private foundation
  4. Are divorced or widowed and now have control over assets to give away
  5. Are older and want to plan before it is too late
  6. Have young families and want to establish a plan early since charitable assets will grow
  7. Have a family office that does not have any internal charitable expertise
  8. Need outside firm to navigate internal family dynamics and possible divergent charitable paths
  9. Need a firm to protect their privacy while giving away money
  10. Own businesses and are creating charitable plan for the firm

Though most AEF donors do not need to engage the services of one of these firms, we are pleased to refer them when appropriate. And for those accounts over $250,000, AEF may allow donors to recommend partial payment of these services from these charitable funds.

Call us at 1-888-660-4508 or use our contact form to learn more.