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Solve Problems: Donor Advised Funds and Disaster Relief

3 days ago By The Signatry

Every year natural disasters affect thousands of people, from devastating storms and tornadoes to wildfires and earthquakes. Victims are often left in need of shelter, food, clean water, electricity, and medical care in addition to the months of clean-up and years it takes to rebuild a devastated community.  You can use the money in your donor advised fund to support disaster relief organizations such as Convoy of Hope, Samaritan’s Purse, American Red Cross, and many others who are constantly at the forefront of disaster relief efforts. These groups assist with immediate needs like food, water, shelter, and many other necessities…

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The Simplicity of A Donor Advised Fund

1 month ago By Ben Bell

Someone who has never opened or used a donor advised fund (DAF) may wonder whether it is similar to opening and using a bank or brokerage account.  Having done both multiple times, opening and using a DAF at The Signatry is much simpler than opening and using accounts at other types of financial institutions. Opening a donor advised fund at The Signatry only takes minutes and can be done online.  No money is required to open a DAF initially, but when the donor is ready to fund their DAF, there are a variety of options available, including eCheck, credit card,…

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The Uncertain Future of Giving

2 months ago By Bill High

What do you think of the future of charitable giving? The July 2018 Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on the Giving USA annual report for 2017. There, they noted the rise to $410 billion of charitable giving. But their headline speaks of the doubt behind those numbers: Giving Grows for the Fourth Straight Year, but is the Future of Philanthropy Bright? While there is much to celebrate, the Chronicle notes: “…the data reveals some worrying trends.” The article itself didn’t go out of its way to point out those trends in a dramatic way. But here’s the point. Giving by individuals grew modestly. Giving by individuals grew just 3% and bequests by only 1%. To draw out the point, the decline in giving by the War Generations is a reality. At one point, those generations were the backbone of giving, and while the Boomer Generation appears to be following with a similar giving pattern, subsequent generations don’t seem to hold the same promise. The Millennials, for instance, are the least churched generation our country has had. Typically, church attendance is the biggest single predictor of giving. Many of these points were drawn out in Charity Shock: Ten Critical Trends Revolutionizing the Fundraising Industry (2018). Layer on tax law changes, economic and market uncertainty and global trade wars and the situation is ripe for a significant giving downturn. The Chronicle aptly notes: “Pursuing wealthy donors is a matter of survival in a time when fewer people are giving. And big donations seem to be driving growth at many nonprofits…” Additionally, the Chronicle notes “Charities should get serious about seeking planned gifts, given that a huge transfer of wealth is projected over the next decade.” Stated differently, I believe we’ll see a decline of the middle market giver. The middle market giver has often made up the backbone of the budget for many nonprofits. On the other hand, there will be an increasing reliance on the major donor and upon planned gifts. For those ministries who don’t play well in those spaces, they may well face serious declines.

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How Donor Advised Funds are Changing the Giving Industry

3 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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Abdiel עבדיאל

4 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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3 Ways to Get Your Clients Talking About Legacy

5 months ago By Evan Lange

We are on the verge of a generational wealth transfer that holds immense implications. Experts forecast anywhere from $30 trillion and above will be passed on to next generations over the next 30 years as the Baby Boomer generation ages. However, nearly 60% of Americans do not have estate plan documents in place. Regardless of age, many still believe estate planning is a process which comes later on in life. You can encourage your clients to have a future-focused mindset and to start thinking about the legacy they want to leave today. Estate planning is a big step, but you can help your clients move towards a perspective that will impact future generations. Below are 3 tips you can pass on to your clients to help them start thinking about estate planning. Communicate your values The first steps of estate planning are building relationships and teaching your children about the values and causes you hold dear. Inheritance without a relationship is not a legacy. For more tips on starting the conversation with your family, check out our post 5 Generosity Conversation Starters For Your Family. Where can you alleviate stress? Consider the areas of stress you would like to relieve for your family when they undergo the changes after your passing. What are the keys they need to have in place? Setting up an estate plan now will take care of your loved ones financially and help eliminate additional emotional stress when you are gone. A thorough estate plan includes wills, trusts, power of attorney, and guardianship for your dependents. Include charitable giving Giving can play a strategic role in your estate plan. There are multiple solutions available which allow you to support the charities you love long after you are gone. One such solution is the “child called charity” approach where you can add an additional equal share in your estate plan. For example, if you have 4 children in your estate plan, adding a fifth “child” designated for charity increases the amount you are able to give to charities. Therefore, the estate would be split 5 ways instead of 4. Creating an estate plan is an excellent opportunity for your clients to impart their beliefs and principles of generosity to future generations. Ease the tension by communicating to your clients that estate planning not only takes care of their loved ones, but also can be used as a vehicle for furthering kingdom minded work through charitable giving.

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Light the Way Testimonies

6 months ago By The Signatry

In October, at our Tennessee Light The Way event we provided $20 bills to event attendees and challenged them to give away the money away and share their stories of generosity. The theme you will quickly see is that the true reward of generosity is the joy experienced by the giver. It’s less about the size of the gift and more of the delight of the Lord. May these stories inspire your heart to take your next step as you read about the impact felt in the community and beyond.

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The power of a donor advised fund

7 months ago By Bill High

An October 4, 2018, article by Bloomberg noted that donor advised funds have tripled in growth to more than $85 billion in assets by year end 2016. The rise of donor advised funds has been tied to a variety of reasons:  ease of use, tax efficiency and even as part of family legacy planning.  Ray Madoff, a Boston College Law School professor, further notes that donor advised funds provide optimum tax benefits for complex assets. Specifically, some donor advised funds are particularly adept at receiving gifts of real estate and even closely held business interests.  “The right structure in receiving closely held business…

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Bring hope to those impacted by Hurricane Michael

7 months ago By The Signatry

After Hurricane Michael hit, the news was filled with pictures of the devastation, but the impact will remain far longer than just those first few days, even as attention may fade. It is a long journey for those impacted as they rebuild. We have the opportunity to serve the basic needs of these affected communities in order to provide the relief and hope they need to press forward in their efforts. Kindness now leaves a lasting impact. The Panama City Giving Hope Fund has been established with The Signatry by Panama City Toyota. You can contribute to this fund, and the…

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