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The Stunning Failed Legacy of the Vanderbilts

2 years ago By Bill High

My son goes to school at Lipscomb University in Nashville. But right down the street is a far more famous university—Vanderbilt.  I’ve driven by it.  It’s impressive, and even by reputation the strength of the school seems to emit an aura of its own. Hailing originally from the Netherlands, the Vanderbilt family had farming roots.  Cornelius Vanderbilt was born into a family of modest means on Staten Island, New York.  He left school at the age of 11 and began in the shipping business with a single boat. Against all odds, he established his company in the wake of more…

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Advisor

3 Opportunities and a Challenge with the New Tax Law

2 years ago By Bill High

People continue to sort out implications of the new tax law. What are the opportunities and challenges particularly as it relates to charitable giving? Opportunities 1) The law allows for people to give up to 60 percent of their adjusted gross income.  If you make $100,000, you can give $60,000 and deduct the entire amount.  While many may not see this as an opportunity, it will provide a unique opportunity for major donors who are seeking to increase their giving. 2) The new tax law lowers the corporate tax rate from 38 percent to 21 percent.  That 17 percent drop means…

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Featured

The Signatry Celebrates Eighteen Years

2 years ago By The Signatry

Eighteen years ago, on June 1, 2000, The Signatry officially opened its doors. Before then, we were just a dream. Our Beginnings Two of our founders, Pat Lloyd and Frank Brown, did not know each other, but started searching separately for answers. In 1998, Frank Brown had tax needs and was looking for a community foundation to which he could donate. He started talking with Larry Burkett’s ministry about finding a solution. At the same time, Bill High, Emmitt Mitchell and Emmitt’s late brother Thurman Mitchell were running an inner city ministry in Kansas City. One of their main funders,…

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Family

The Surprising Story and Legacy of the Nobel Prize

2 years ago By Bill High

It’s a great honor to receive the Nobel Prize. Since 1901, there have been 585 prizes awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, Literature and Peace. The prizes stem from the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel.  And just who was Alfred Nobel? In the mid-1860s, Alfred invented a detonator for explosives.  He continued experimenting with a form of nitroglycerin.  But one of those experiments went awry, and five people died in an explosion at his factory.  Emil, Alfred’s brother, was one of the five who died in the accident. As a result of this tragedy, Alfred sought to develop a more stable explosive,…

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Family

Begin your legacy journey

2 years ago By The Signatry

We all long to live a life that matters long after we are gone, but how do we move from wishful thinking to actionable steps? Sometimes, it comes down to each small, intentional act. Start your journey by thinking through a few key questions. You can answer them all at once, spread them out over several months, or even work through them as a group. Do it at your pace so you stay attuned to God’s prompting in your heart. We look forward to hearing how God is moving you. Reach out as you have more questions and move on…

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Advisor

What’s the word in the next charitable giving wave?

2 years ago By Bill High

Deeper. In my previous blogs, I’ve mentioned how donor advised funds brought democratization to philanthropy.  Put differently, donor advised funds have become like the latest fad product buy. While certainly, there’s still an opportunity for donor advised funds to grow in number, they are enough people who have “bought” them that they are asking the question:  “what next?” What next for donor advised funds? Many don’t want to use their donor advised funds simply as a dispensary.  They want to start conversations with their family about giving, why giving, why they give as a family, what their vision and mission…

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Featured

Five Principles of Inheritance

2 years ago By Bill High

It’s one of the most common questions I get asked: “How much should I leave my children?” Although the Bible is clear that a good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22), the Bible doesn’t prescribe what that inheritance should be or how much the inheritance should be. However, there are at least 5 principles of inheritance from Scripture that deserve attention. Principle One: It’s Your Responsibility to Provide Order. Sometimes in a planning conversation, I will hear a parent say, “Well, what do I care? I’ll be gone. My kids can figure it out.” When King David…

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Advisor

David Green – The Way of Living Generously

2 years ago By Bill High

What would you do? In 2012, Hobby Lobby faced a critical, company-ending decision. They could either face fines of $1.3 million per day or provide abortion-inducing prescriptions as part of Obamacare. The latter option was against the religious and moral views of David and his family. In Giving it All Away and Getting it All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously (Zondervan 2017), David Green recounts his US Supreme Court struggle. He tells how his family chose to stand by what they believed, knowing it might cost them the company. Their journey of faith took them to the edge:…

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Ministry

How Tax Reform Could Impact Charitable Giving

3 years ago By Bill High

As Congress works to implement tax reform, much of the focus has been on business and personal income tax relief and on simplifying the code.  But in the flurry of activity between proposals and counter proposals, there’s been little coverage related to the charitable deduction.  I received an email the other day from a colleague who has been active on Capitol Hill, offering some analysis: Some of the proposals have argued for raising the standard deduction to $12,000. Currently 33% of tax filers itemize. This group essentially doesn’t pay taxes on what they give. If the standard deduction is doubled,…

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