Doing Well

By Doing Good

As a professional advisor, you are in a unique position to help your clients think through and act upon their philanthropic values, interests, and goals. Your ability to open up conversations about giving can deepen relationships with clients and produce a triple win for them, your advising practice, and our world. We can support you and your clients on the journey toward activating their wealth to have a real impact on the issues they care deeply about.

Who needs philanthropy advising?
Individuals, families, and advisors often turn to us at moments of pending change: an influx of funds, a sale of a business, or professional or personal life transitions. Some of our clients are new to the world of philanthropy while others have been giving for years and are looking to move beyond traditional grantmaking to achieve higher impact. Most are asking: could my giving be more strategic? What type of impact am I having? How can I best share my time, talent, and treasure at this stage of my life? How can we do philanthropy together as a family? How do I infuse philanthropic values in my children? What legacy will I leave behind?

How can we help your clients?
We believe that lasting philanthropic impact is grounded in personal and family values, fueled by passions and interests, and informed by curiosity, learning, and strategic thinking. We help clients create customized giving strategies to add real value in the areas they wish to influence, whether those involve communities, issues, or other ideas. TPI offers a comprehensive spectrum of supports – from strategy through program design, implementation, grants management, and evaluation – helping clients make bold, positive changes on the issues that matter most to them.

How do we work with professional advisors?
We provide fee-for-service consulting to donors. While our focus is on philanthropy, we rely on others to manage funds and provide financial or legal advice. Should your clients wish to engage TPI, we welcome you to take part in their philanthropic journey. Your level of involvement is up to you. We can work with you directly, together with you and your client, with your client alone, or with partners and colleagues across your firm. We can conduct workshops and trainings for colleagues and clients, compile research and other materials to support your clients’ interests, or partner in other ways.

Stage Setting

The role of a planner is, first, to assess the client’s objectives, second, to inventory the assets (human, intellectual, and financial capital) available to meet those objectives, and third, to create a plan to meet the objectives using the appropriate assets. Including the subject of philanthropy at all three stages of your conversations is crucial. Charitable giving is an important component of most wealth plans—it serves the client’s best interests, and it enriches and deepens the advisor-client relationship.

Conversations between advisors and their clients begin, as do most conversations, with stage setting. The advisor is typically the principal source of the questions, but if the conversation is to succeed, the client needs to know the basis for the questions, the context into which the answers will fit.

The first few questions an advisor asks a client in such conversations are intended both to elicit and provide context. Frequently, these conversations are preceded by a questionnaire from the advisor to the client that serves the purpose of preparing both advisor and client for the interview. Such questionnaires typically include questions on the client’s philanthropic goals, interests, and history. Sample questions are:

– Do you currently contribute to any charitable organizations?
– Are you currently involved with any charitable organizations?
– Do you wish to include charitable giving in your financial or estate plan?
– What legacy do you wish to leave?

Getting Started

How do you, the advisor, initiate the interview? Some of the questions you may wish to consider include:

– I have reviewed your questionnaire and your file. Am I correct in saying that you are… (facts including personal data and financial snapshot)?
– Is there an upcoming event or deadline that has prompted you to begin this process at this point in time?
– What have you done to date in obtaining a wealth or business analysis?
– Do you have an estate plan?
– Who else is on your planning team?
– Is the process going as you would wish?
– Is there anything in the process you would like to change or do differently?
– Do you feel comfortable with everything that has taken place so far?
– “You would not hear this from most advisors, but in order to design the best plan for you, I need to know some more about what your values are, what your goals are, what you want this all to mean. I’m not here to tell you what to do, but to find out what is important to you so that we can do our job well. An estate or financial plan shouldn’t be just about taxes. I want to make sure that we meet your needs in the best possible way. There are some more questions I need to ask you, and that will be part of our planning process. They may seem personal, and they are, but I’m sure you would agree that an estate or financial plan is a very personal document.”
– Does your current plan reflect your values? Your family’s?

Financial Needs

– Do you have a sense of how much money you will need to feel financially secure?
– Do you have a sense of how much you will want to provide for your children?
– Do you have any concerns about your children and money?
– If your financial resources were unlimited, how would you spend your time and what would you do with your excess financial resources?
– Is health an issue you would like to discuss?

Philanthropy or Giving in General

– I have found that people get a lot of fulfillment from thinking about what they want to leave to the community and how they want to use their talents and resources for a cause. Designing an estate or financial plan gives them the opportunity to think about these issues. Would you be interested in having me help you explore the options?
– Are you interested in supporting organizations or causes while you are alive, or do you want to do so only after your death?
– There are three things you can do with your wealth: give it to the government, leave it to your heirs, or give it to charitable endeavors. If taxes were not an issue, how would you apportion your wealth?
– Are you interested in creating a plan that would support your community or other issues you are interested in, and still leave a substantial estate to your children?

Mission and Focus – Getting Started

– Are there any organizations to which you currently give?
– Are there any organizations that you are currently involved with or for which you serve on the board?
– Are there any community or charitable issues you really care about?
– Do you have a sense of obligation to any institutions, organizations, or causes?
– Do you give regularly to any organizations? Have any of your gifts been particularly fulfilling or gratifying?
– Is there something about the world that you would like to see changed?
– What do you read about in the paper that makes you angry? Or happy?
– What issues and causes are you passionate and excited about?

Community, Giving Back

– Do you participate in any religious or civic group that is important to you?
– Do you have strong social or political views?
– When you were in college, what did you dream of doing? Have you done it? Can it still be done? Do you have other unfulfilled wishes about doing something that you have yet to do?
– Are there hobbies or activities in which you enjoy?
– Who are your heroes?
– Are there skills that you would like to continue to use after you retire? Are there new skills that you would like to learn or develop further?
– How involved would you like to be in your giving? How much time would you like to give to organizations and causes?

The Role and the Importance of the Family

– What are your values? Have you discussed them with your family? Do you wish to pass them on? Is philanthropy an appropriate vehicle for doing so?
– Do you, your spouse or children volunteer on a regular basis? What organizations do you work with/for? Do you sit on any boards of organizations?
– Do you want to involve your family (or friends) in your giving?
– Do you want to involve your children?

Strategic Philanthropy

– Do you have a vision of your philanthropy and what it can achieve?
– Do you want family members, friends, or future generations to continue your giving legacy?
– Do you have a mission statement, either in your mind or on paper? As part of this planning process, would you consider developing a family mission statement or a plan for your charitable enterprise?
– Are you focused in your giving? On what?
– Do you prefer to address symptoms or causes in your giving?
– Is it important that you exercise some control over organizations to which you give?
– Do you prefer to fund “start ups” or established charitable organizations?
– Would you give to enhance an organization’s capacity?
– Are you comfortable just writing checks, or do you want to be more proactive and involved?
– Would you be interested in an education program or any sort, either formal or informal, to help you develop and execute a giving plan?
– Or do you just want to do something simple?


– Are you excited about what you can achieve for you, your heirs, and charity with proper planning?
– Do you still feel comfortable with the questions I’ve asked and direction we are going?
– Is there anything in the process at this point you would like to change or do differently?
– At this point, how can I best help you achieve what is most important to you?




You see the opportunity and recognize the circumstance that may trigger new client needs, but how do you, as the advisor, ask the question that opens the door for a meaningful discussion with your client? Most clients don’t know what they can accomplish through the estate planning process. To get clients to explore the options, you should ask them to express their thinking about their values and aspirations. Discussing philanthropy with your clients can be done unobtrusively in a way that respects your client’s privacy, values, and autonomy.

Here are some ways to initiate that conversation. You might say…

– I know you are very supportive of . . . your synagogue, the soup kitchen, your alma mater . . . Would you like to continue your support through your estate plan?
– Are you making charitable gifts now that you would like to continue after your death?
– Have you considered what would happen to your assets if your spouse or children do not survive you? Do you want all or part of your assets to pass to a charity, rather than to a distant relative?

Often clients think they should leave everything to their children or grandchildren. Many individuals, especially those with significant assets, are discovering that in addition to monetary gifts, they should also pass on their philosophy and life values through philanthropy. Here are some ways to expand your client’s thinking about their legacy to the next generation.

– Do you think your three children would mind getting 30% of your estate rather than 33 1/3% if that meant your favorite charitable organization received 10%?
– If you ask your children to write your epitaph, what would they say? Does it match what you would say? What would you like to say to your children about what really matters to you?
– You could use a quote from Warren Buffett who said, “Parents should leave children enough money so they would feel they could do anything but not so much money that they could do nothing.”

Many times clients are hesitant to consider charitable gifts because they are afraid they will not have enough assets to have a secure retirement. You might suggest discussing how much is needed and open the discussion by asking…

– Would you like me to show you how you might be able to have your money work better for you in your retirement while also taking care of organizations that are important to you?

You might also ask them…

– When you lay awake at night, what do you worry about?
– What values, activites, organizations contributed to your success?
– Many of our customers like to leave money to charity in their will. Are there any causes you’re passionate about?
– At your funeral, you would like people to say, “She really cared about…”


And then give the CoFo Team a call at 765-662-0065 if there is anything we can do to assist your charitable giving discussion with your client or if you have any questions about giving opportunities.

com·mu·ni·ty foun·da·tion

Pronunciation: /kuh-myoo-ni-tee/ /foun-dey-shuhn/
Function: noun

1 a non-profit means for giving : PHILANTHROPY
2 a pool of charitable funds invested for a community’s future; Legacy
3 a source of grants for key community projects
4 a fiscal manager for charitable trusts and bequests
5 a convener for pressing local issues
6 a facilitator of not-for-profit initiatives

What is a Community Foundation?

In general, the concept of a Community Foundation is as ingenious as it is simple-it is a means to build, over time, substantial endowment funds for a community through contributions large and small.

– Because these contributions are endowed, they are never spent.
– Instead, they are permanently invested to produce income.
– A portion of the income earned is then used to help meet the community’s charitable needs-from social work to art to culture.
– So, gifts to a community foundation continue to benefit your community forever.

This is philanthropy in its broadest sense!

Specifically, the Community Foundation of Grant County has been connecting people who care with causes that matter since 1984. We serve as a means through which those of us who live, or earn a livelihood, in Grant County can pool our resources for the benefit of improving the local quality of life.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Anyone may use the local Community Foundation to give something back to the community.

The Foundation is a model of giving that includes a wide spectrum of donors. Contributions from these donors and other community minded individuals have increased our assets to more than 30 million dollars.

When caring individuals come together under a flexible, creative, and capable organizational structure, known legally as a community foundation, our community’s potential is unlimited.

An easy way for a donor to make a difference and leave a lasting legacy is by creating a permanent Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Grant County.

But how? 

It’s easy, convenient, and simple.

In fact, establishing a fund can be done in less time than it takes to open a bank account.

We take care of all the administrative and grantmaking activities, eliminating the need for you to set up a separate foundation, formulate policies, file innumerable forms and monitor the status of grant recipients. We save you precious time and money.

The best way to show you how this really works is to demonstrate with our Giving, Growing, Grantmaking Model:

Donors make gifts to the Foundation.

Gifts are invested; the value grows.

Endowment income benefits
charitable causes and the community.

Contact Us

Dawn Brown

President & CEO

Sherri Rush

Chief Financial Officer

Shelly Jones

Development Director