~ A colleague from the Netherlands, Jan Wezendonk, Chairman of Kinderhulp, shared with me a copy of a booklet published periodically by a consortium of nonprofit organizations, of which Kinderhulp is a member. The nonprofits band together to fund the publication, which is then distributed to professional advisors. In fact, Jan sent me a copy from the Netherlands, and I can attest that it is very well done. The booklet contains each organization’s mission and contact information, separates groups by their overarching missions and focus areas, and it is designed to be a handy reference resource for trust officers, attorneys, accountants, foundation executives and the like. This is a novel idea, and I wanted to share it. For more about Jan Wezendonk, see my posting, “Charity Lotteries – A European Success Story.”
~ Is there a social media connection between you and professional advisors? You bet! I have been pleased to “friend” several professional advisors on my personal Facebook page, and to connect with them via LinkedIn, for instance. And on those pages, I constantly discuss my nonprofit projects.
~ Reuters has posted a press release, “Fidelity CharitableSM Launches First LinkedInGroup Dedicated to Assisting Advisors with Charitable Planning” (April 17, 2012). “Fidelity Charitable has seen a nearly four-fold increase in contributions from donors associated with advisors over the past four years, with this segment of contribution dollars representing more than 55% of the organization’s total contributions over this period.”
~ I would like to acknowledge Cynthia Krause, JD, Vice President for Gift Planning, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Dallas. Cynthia was one of the earliest fundraising professionals to acknowledge the growing importance of professional advisors, and she has been a leader in educating nonprofit organizations about how best to work with professional advisors. I have enjoyed several of Cynthia’s public presentations on this topic, and recommend her highly.
~ I enjoyed a webinar in May, 2012 featuring Donald J. Green of the Bank of America Philanthropic Solutions group. Donald suggested reviewing your nonprofit database carefully to identify potential client advisors, and encourage them to join your board and/or advisory board(s). Donors can themselves help you identify professional advisors with whom they work, but sometimes you must be more proactive in identifying them on your own. You might also enjoy reading from The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, “Philanthropic Behaviors and Beliefs of Women’s Philanthropy.” Separately, I have written about Women and Philanthropy on this website as well.
~ Although most people will seek the advice of professional advisors as they prepare (and update) their Wills and estate plans, some will remain staunchly independent. In an effort to identify efficient and cost-effective solutions for people who are so inclined, I might suggest LegalZoom. LegalZoom was founded in 2001 and is based in Los Angeles. The website is clear and helpful.
~ Another resource for the independent-minded is, Quicken WillMaker Plus from Nolo Press, the company’s top selling legal kit. Nolo was founded in the 1960s in San Francisco, and it strives to make the law accessible to everyone. Years ago a friend took me on a personal tour of Nolo’s home office, and I can attest it is quite an impressive outfit (both in terms of how well organized it is, and in the high ethical standards of its employees).