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Advisor

Having the Conversation on Asset Giving

4 months ago By Evan Lange

Many advisors find that being involved with their client’s giving is one of the most meaningful aspects of their work. Philanthropy is an easy way to build deeper relationships with clients. It not only paves the way for a lasting relationship but offers inroads into the next generation of clients and future givers. When your client is ready for the conversation on giving, discussing their assets will play a vital role in the discussion. The following three points offer an outline that will aid in the conversation. Identify which assets to contribute Whether your client is motivated by philanthropic or tax advantage goals, determining what types of assets they can gift is a crucial first step. The common types of assets that are generally gifted are cash, securities, real estate, or closely held business interest. All of these can be given through a donor advised fund. Timing of gift A recent article in Forbes states, “donating property that has appreciated in value, like stock, can result in a double benefit…not only can you deduct the fair market value of the property (so long as you’ve owned it for at least one year), you will avoid paying capital gains tax” Gift valuation guidelines are established in the current tax regulations. In general, the value of the gift is based on the type of asset and the date of contribution, which is typically the date the asset is delivered to the receiving organization. Gifting a complex asset can be a lengthy process. It is important to evaluate the timing of the gift to ensure it will benefit your client within the current tax year. Selecting a charity Deciding what organizations to support, is usually the most exciting part of the process for your client. For many donors, the organizations they choose often have personal meaning and speak to their experiences. By giving complex assets through The Signatry, donors can make grants to smaller nonprofits that would otherwise be unable to accept complex gifts. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2018/12/11/14-tips-for-making-your-charitable-gift-tax-deductible-in-2018/#65eb5fb5f80c  

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Family

The Difference in Living Generously

5 months ago By The Signatry

When we think of someone who lives generously, we don’t often focus on the checks they write or the tax breaks they receive. Most often, when we observe someone with a generous lifestyle, we notice how they spend their time, the work they do for the common good, and the character behind their generosity. A generous lifestyle goes beyond charitable donations. It involves a willingness to give of your time, energy, and God-given gifts. Here are three questions to ask if you desire to expand your generosity: Who/how can I serve today? Being generous requires intentionality. By setting your mind to seek out daily opportunities to live generously, your heart will be motived to give in a deeper way. Thinking intentionally about generosity will position you towards situational generosity, where you can meet needs that exist within your community. What can I give besides money? There is a common belief that says you cannot be generous if you don’t have money. However, living generously goes beyond giving financially. Giving through acts of service and volunteer work require time and energy. These two gifts are often more valuable to the recipients than money. Leave a lasting and priceless legacy by using your unique abilities and passions to meet the needs in your community. How does living generously impact your legacy? Giving generously frees you. It loosens the grasp of material possessions and self-involvement. Living generously has a profound impact on your personal character and is a key training ground for younger generations. Making generosity a part of your lifestyle allows you to model and teach biblical values to those around you. A generous lifestyle is an invitation to be a good steward of what God entrusted to you: your time, talents, and treasure. By embracing this mindset, you will leave a lasting impact on your community, family, and eternity.      

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Ministry

Purposeful Events—Move from Transaction to Transformation

5 months ago By Kristin Hammett

Events are powerful in building relationships, awareness, and loyalty with your donors. Whether it is a banquet, retreat, golf tournament, or an auction –– events can be a great tool to dramatically grow your support.   Plan. An effective event has a strategic purpose, measurable objectives, and a clear outline of the steps needed to achieve your goals. When determining your purpose, it is essential to define your objectives. Are you hosting a fundraising event? If so, how much money do you want to raise? Having a clear understanding of your goals positions your organization to select the best steps to effectively meet them.    Engage. The key to a successful event is personal engagement which leads to transformation. Real change happens when your audience begins to move beyond the transaction of giving and focus on the broader experience. Emphasizing the heart and mindset of possible change, and not just money will impact their hearts and partnership is likely to follow. By inviting guests to join in the mission and play an active role in problem-solving, they will see themselves as a part of the story – one where they can be the hero.  Review. It is no secret that events require a lot of work. After it is over, you will most likely want to stop thinking about it altogether! But, this is when the real developmental work begins. Measuring your ROI (return on investment) is imperative for planning future events. The data you gather will offer deeper insight into your event expenditure and better understand how it impacts your bottom line.   Follow Up. Saying thank you to your volunteers, donors, and sponsors goes a long way. Continuing to engage your donors into the problem they are helping solve rather than a merely transactional receipt, will benefit both your organization and those who support it. And don’t stop with a thank you letter. Call them, engage them, meet for coffee. Get to know your donors! An event is just the beginning of what can be a great donor/ministry relationship! 

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How Donor Advised Funds are Changing the Giving Industry

5 months ago By Bill High

Donor advised funds are making the news. An October 3, 2018, Bloomberg article chronicles their rise. More than half of the top ten charities in the country are donor advised fund sponsors. It is now an industry eclipsing more than $85 billion in assets. The industry has added commercial players like Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab. Critics contend that these commercial players’ motives are less charitable and more about fees to manage assets. Some even contend that donor advised funds are about stockpiling assets. But in reality, the majority of donor advised fund entities are community foundations or faith-based entities with no commercial motive. They are focused on community good or doing good in general, not money management. By comparison, the private foundation world represents $800 billion in assets compared to the $85 billion in donor advised funds. Private foundations only require a minimum distribution of 5% annually. In contrast, the National Philanthropic Trust in its 2017 report on donor advised funds noted that donor advised funds on average distribute 20% of their assets each year—far beyond what private foundations are required to do. Further, in 1998, the IRS paved the way for S corporations to donate shares to public charities. Prior to that enactment, the majority of contributions were in the form of cash or publicly traded stock. By opening the door for closely held stock to be contributed, the IRS essentially acknowledged the need to tap into one of America’s vast storehouses of wealth. The majority of corporations in the country are closely held. With the aging of the Boomer generation, many of those corporations are for sale. By allowing for the donation of closely held corporations to public charities an entire new stream of charitable giving is being opened up. Donor advised funds have been the leaders in receiving and monetizing those gifts. As their payout rates of 20% attest, the money doesn’t just sit in waiting. In the coming years, as more and more corporations sell, donor advised funds will continue to be the leader in charitable giving.

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Advisor

Overcoming Common Challenges with Generosity in Estate Planning

5 months ago By Evan Lange

Clients rely on advisors for security in their financial planning decisions. Many feel the weight of large financial decisions with implications for family, relationships, and Kingdom impact. To help with this added stress of estate planning, wise stewardship is needed. When it comes to generosity inside of estate planning, it is imperative to have a strategy. Once a plan is in place, your client will feel confident about their charitable giving and excited about the difference they can make within their legacy. One of the first questions many clients ask is how to decide where to give? To create a well-planned…

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Family

Stewarding your family in the business sale process

6 months ago By The Signatry

Selling a business involves careful planning, but we often don’t take into consideration how it will impact our family. What does it look like to steward your family through this process in a way that will not only protect but allow them to thrive generations from now? When faced with these issues, there are a few important questions to consider: What should I give to my children? 70% of wealthy families lose their fortune by the second generation, and by the third generation, 90% have squandered their money. Clearly, passing on money is not enough to solve problems in our families. We often forget that there is more than financial capital to pass on; we need to consider the intangible aspects of wealth- social, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional capital. Your children will be more equipped to handle financial wealth when it is preceded with the knowledge and family values imparted. How are my children equipped to handle wealth? How do you ensure your children are ready to steward the wealth you plan to pass on to them? Thriving individuals are more likely to handle inheritance properly. Are they responsible with their finances? Do they have a good work ethic? Considering whether the inheritance is most likely to contribute or cripple their life, is important.  Sometimes the most loving action is saying “no” and setting boundaries that encourage your children to grow. By passing on biblical values and placing a priority on the intangible assets, we cultivate healthy families and provide a means for long term success. What is God calling me to do in the next season? Transitioning out of your business can be an exciting time to pursue God’s calling for the next season of your life. Consider how you can use this next season to continue to cultivate family relationships and build upon your legacy. Think about the causes you and your family are passionate about. You can make memories with younger generations by giving back, supporting, and volunteering with ministries as a multigenerational family. The heart of generosity goes far beyond the money we are willing to give. It permeates everyday decisions and determines the legacy we will leave. Cultivating a lasting family through the sale process will require honest communication. A healthy family will practice transparency. If the challenges seem too great, it is ok to invite outside help. In the same way, a business sale requires advisors, you may want to invite someone you trust to help advise your family as you deal with difficult topics and proactive planning. Wealth does not have to break apart our families. By bringing a better balance to our families as we learn to pass on intangible capital as well—emotional, spiritual, mental—we set the stage for long term success.

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Ministry

Making Donors the Hero of Your Story

7 months ago By Kristin Hammett

We all see things from our own perspective. Donors do too. They see through their own lens of experience and perspective. To communicate effectively, strive to meet your donors where they are and provide answers to the questions, they may not realize they are asking. Donors often ask themselves “How does this impact me?” “What’s in this for me?” “What if this were me?” Providing answers to these questions will connect your donors to your mission. Below are a few important questions to begin thinking along these lines. How do donors help your organization succeed? What difference does their support make? What is the impact of their donation? Who are the donors helping? There are many heroes in your organization already: volunteers, board members, clients who make a brave choice, employees, etc. However, your donor-facing communication isn’t the time to sing their praises. Consider how your communication makes your donor feel. Do they feel empowered? Do they feel angry about the injustice that is happening? Do they feel they can help? Communication with your donors should be focused on them. Make the donor the hero of your story and the impact will be powerful. The key is to minimize your organization and center your communication on the donor and the client. You can accomplish this by making small changes in your language. For example, Will you help feed the hungry in our community this week? or Because of you, we were able to feed the hungry in our community. (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a great example of this with their “because of you” campaign) Invite donors to participate in your efforts, don’t guilt them. It is important to avoid the implication that your donor should do something, but rather focus on the idea that they can do something. Fundraising is about waking up an army of heroes to join you in your mission. It’s about inviting people in by letting them believe in their own power. By simplifying your message, you invite the donor to be the hero. You offer them an invitation to take action and join your cause.  

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Abdiel עבדיאל

6 months ago By Dale Brantner

I absolutely love the story of Joseph in the Hebrew Bible.  This cycle of well-crafted stories, found in Genesis 37-50, close out the tales of legacy that is the heartbeat of Genesis.  The account of Joseph and his family frame how the children of Israel came to be residents of Egypt and sets up the story of their miraculous exodus which is at the center of Jewish legacy to this day. At the core of our culture, at The Signatry, is a commitment to listen to a person’s story, and then serve them within their story.  When we serve others within their story, we are actually serving them within the much larger redemptive story of God and the role He calls them to play.  This is exactly what we see played out through the life of Joseph. The story begins with some dysfunctional family dynamics, including the lack of parity by Jacob towards his sons. We soon find Joseph in Egypt where he is sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. It was within Potiphar’s story that Joseph would serve. God blesses him with great success, and Potiphar eventually entrusts Joseph with his entire household, all of his possessions and agricultural ventures.  Everything went extremely well for Joseph as he served Potiphar right up until he was framed and thrown into prison.  While in prison, Joseph would find himself serving Pharaoh’s cupbearer and chief baker within their own stories, this would, in turn, bring Joseph into the direct service of Pharaoh. Joseph was given the opportunity to listen to the dreams and concerns of Pharaoh and serve within Pharaoh’s story. Pharaoh would make this foreign Hebrew slave and ex-convict the “vizier” of Egypt. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Genesis 41:41-42 God used Joseph’s ability to listen and serve within the stories of others, to position him next to the most powerful man of his day. This platform would later prove to be the salvation of his father Jacob’s legacy … his descendants.  

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Family

Breaking the Cycle: Generations & Wealth

6 months ago By Bill High

An article in Money magazine tells of the difficulty of holding on to wealth in the second generation. Stephen Lovell, a financial planner, describes going to his grandfather’s house and being impressed by their house, cars, boats and all their “toys.” His grandfather’s estimated net worth was $70 million dollars. But the next generation squandered it. The Challenge Money magazine cites the Williams Group consultancy group for their study that 70% of wealthy families will lose their wealth in the second generation and 90% by the third generation. Two troubling statistics stand out: 78% feel the next generation is not equipped to…

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