Philanthropic Giving 101: A New Class For Financial Advisors

Give tzedakah. It sounds simple, right?

But consider these questions: Would you prefer to make an endowment, give through your donor-advised fund, or utilize the various other commonly practiced charitable giving strategies? Do you want to donate real estate? Which will do the most good for the causes you’re passionate about, while still meeting your other financial goals?

Your professional advisor can help, of course. These folks are financial or wealth advisors, accountants, or trusts and estates attorneys.

As experts in the field of philanthropic giving, the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) recognized that there may be a gap in knowledge for some professional advisors.

“While a professional advisor’s practice may incorporate some aspects of philanthropy, they may not have the confidence, expertise, tools, or training to have deep discussions with clients to ensure the client’s philanthropic goals and plans are embedded in their financial and estate plans, especially in a tax efficient way,” says Alene G. Sussman, Jewish Community Foundation director.

Drawing on its vast experience helping donors connect their philanthropic passions to meaningful charitable gifts, JCF launched the Network of Philanthropic Advisors (NPA) to pass some of that knowledge on to professional advisors.

Starting in the spring of 2020 and concluding on October 28, 2020, the inaugural cohort of more than a dozen participating professional advisors, including attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, and wealth managers, completed a brand-new, three-part professional development series focusing on strengthening their client relationships through conversations about philanthropic giving.

The workshops were designed to be held in person, but JCF pivoted to virtual sessions when the pandemic hit. Topics discussed in the workshops included listening for charitable triggers, creating relationships through stories, how technology has influenced giving and the art of multi-generational family meetings. Participants appreciated gaining perspective on what drives donors to give charitably and the networking and discussion that happened around the topic.

“Judging from the feedback we’ve received, many of our participants have already started putting the skills from the NPA workshops into practice,” says Sussman. “The good news for professional advisors is that when clients feel their entire plan, including philanthropy, is being addressed, that client is more likely to stay with that advisor. For clients, they feel good that their financial, tax, and charitable goals are being implemented holistically, addressing their annual donations and planned charitable gifts.”

Wealth Management & Financial Planning

Jon Applebaum
Vice President & Financial Advisor

Dick Hall
Partner & Managing Director
Cresset Capital

Shane Harjes
Wealth Advisor
Cresset Capital

Noah Londer
Private Wealth Advisor
[email protected]

Private Banking

Seth Togal
Vice President, Private Banker
BMO Private Bank

Tax Planning

Matt Brown, CPA, JD
Lurie LLP

Michael Holsten, CPA, CFP®, JD
Tax Director

Howard Kaminsky, CPA, ASA
Managing Director, Financial Services

David R. Levi, CPA, PFS
Tax Director

Attorney & Estate Planning  

Stuart C. Bear
Chestnut Cambronne PA

Brad Frank
Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Ryan Prochaska
Chestnut Cambronne PA

Brian Weisberg
Siegel Brill

“The Jewish Community Foundation is proud of its long history providing expertise on making a meaningful charitable gift,” said Sussman. “Working with professional advisors was a natural fit.”

For more information about the NPA or if you are interested in potentially joining the next NPA cohort, please visit:

* Please Note: Publication of these names and/or firms by the JCF does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of an individual professional advisor to donors. Also, please note that not all participants are listed due to their company’s restrictions.

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