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Unrestricted Giving, the Trust Factor, and Why It Matters to Your Clients: A Guide for Advisors

Unrestricted Giving, the Trust Factor, and Why It Matters to Your Clients: A Guide for Advisors

Every year, Americans contribute generously to charitable causes, supporting over a million organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in our communities. This philanthropic spirit amounts to an astounding 2% of GDP, surpassing even the home healthcare services sector in impact. Moreover, trust has emerged as a pivotal factor influencing your clients’ decisions to support charitable organizations, with trust levels rising from 63.9% to 69.9% between December 2021 and December 2022.

Trust Is Key

In light of the growing importance of trust in charitable organizations, it’s vital for you and your clients to recognize the role and commitment of the community foundation to stewardship. Each day, the team at the Athens Area Community Foundation collaborates with board members, civic leaders, and nonprofit organizations to gain profound insights into the evolving needs of our community. These needs can range from immediate emergency assistance during a crisis to future requirements like scholarships for inner-city youth or investments in healthcare accessibility for the underserved.

Community Is Everything

The community foundation continually monitors the pulse of our community’s top priorities and strives to find the most effective solutions. Through its convening power, community knowledge, and unwavering mission, the community foundation stands as an unparalleled resource dedicated to improving our community for everyone.

Having Options Is Essential

When discussing philanthropic plans with your clients, remember that many individuals and families establish multiple funds at the community foundation to address various charitable giving needs comprehensively. For instance, a family might create a donor-advised fund to streamline their annual giving, making it easier to manage gifts of appreciated stock and support numerous charitable organizations. Within the same family, a member might opt to establish a charitable remainder trust with the community foundation to donate highly-appreciated real estate while securing an income stream for life. Additionally, the family might consider establishing an unrestricted fund or contributing to existing funds specifically designated by the community foundation and its board of directors to address the community’s most critical needs.

Your clients have a range of options, including the following:

  • Contribute to an Unrestricted Fund: Support the community foundation’s long-term grant-making efforts, allowing them to allocate resources where they are needed most.
  • Donate to the Community Foundation’s Operating Fund: Ensure the foundation’s mission endures for years to come, supporting its core operations and sustainability.
  • Support a Special Initiative Fund: Assist individuals who urgently require aid by contributing to special initiative funds. Rely on the community foundation’s network and expertise to allocate these resources where they are most critically needed.

The Community Foundation Plays an Integral Role

Regardless of the approach your clients choose, rest assured that you and your clients can trust the community foundation to make a lasting difference in the community we all cherish. From donations to the community foundation’s operating fund to gifts supporting its grant-making initiatives, the possibilities are abundant. We eagerly anticipate exploring these opportunities with your philanthropic clients.

As advisors, you have a unique opportunity to guide your clients toward impactful and meaningful philanthropic endeavors, all while emphasizing the importance of trust and the significant role the community foundation plays in supporting our community’s well-being.

Become a Donor

The Athens Area Community Foundation is a public grantmaking foundation that builds community by encouraging long term giving through funds created by caring donors.

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