When to consider the Community Foundation for your client

The Community Foundation of North Florida can be a helpful resource for you and your clients in a variety of situations. The Foundation can serve any legitimate charitable objective for any kind of donor.

The following are examples of situations where the Community Foundation can help:

  • When your client is philanthropic and wishes to stay connected to their gifts, family and favorite charities.
  • When your client is selling an appreciated asset such as stock or real estate and desires to avoid paying a capital gains tax on the appreciation and benefit a charity or charities
  • When your client is considering establishing a private family foundation to create a lasting legacy and fulfill philanthropic visions but is concerned about the cost and administrative complexity
  • When your client has a private foundation but is tired of the expense or complexity of managing their own foundation
  • When your client is an individual or couple with no children, with independent children or with a desire to pass only a portion of their estate to their children
  • When your client has a particularly profitable year and desires to fund future charitable giving with a current income tax deduction
  • When your client is selling a closely held business or is in the process of developing a business succession plan
  • When your client is considering a permanent memorial in honor of someone special
  • When your client is creating a Charitable Remainder Trust or Charitable Lead Trust, and has not finalized the nonprofit beneficiary
  • When your client has an existing relationship with a particular nonprofit organization, church or charitable cause and may be interested in creating a charitable fund to support that organization or cause
  • At year end, when your client's existing private foundation must meet their annual payout requirements

Listening for charitable opportunities:

  • Year end tax planning
  • Sale of a business
  • Birth of a child or grandchild
  • Sale of real estate
  • Retirement
  • Preserving an estate
  • Honoring a loved one

It's a delicate dilemma.

Estate planners, financial planners, and other professional advisors are often faced with a delicate dilemma: You want to discuss the many benefits of charitable giving with your clients, but you want to avoid recommending specific charitable causes or organizations.

Fortunately, there's a simple solution.

Now, you can feel comfortable asking if your client has any charitable goals without recommending any one charity. The Community Foundation of North Florida facilitates charitable gifts to all nonprofit organizations. The Foundation is a single, trusted vehicle your clients can use to support all of the charities they care about most, while gaining maximum tax benefit under state and federal law. We offer a variety of giving options,including the ability to set up a charitable fund in your client's name. It's just one way we can help you help your clients achieve their charitable goals.

Why Talk About Philanthropy with Your Clients.

Many of your clients may not raise the topic of charitable planning with you. That may not be due to a lack of interest but rather due to an existing misconception that charitable planning is reserved for philanthropists with names like Rockefeller and Gates. Educating your clients about charitable giving options adds value to the services you provide your clients. It's good for your clients, it's good for society, it's good for business, and it's good for you. It's a way for you to give back. And, it's easy to do.

How to Talk About Philanthropy with Your Clients.

You see the opportunity and recognize the circumstances that may trigger planning opportunities, 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 help clients explore the options, you should ask them to express their thinking about their values and aspirations. Discussing philanthropy with your clients can be done in a way that respects their privacy, values and autonomy.

Here are some conversation starters:

  • "I know you are very supportive of [organization or program, e.g., the local soup kitchen, your church, 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? Would you like any of your assets passed on to a charity, rather than to a distant relative?"