Nov 30th

Philanthropic Giving is Personal & Your Plan Should Be Too

Customizing your charitable giving plan is a game changer

When someone makes the decision to give back, it’s almost always motivated by a desire to make a difference and, hopefully, to make the world a better place. For those stewarding wealth through a family foundation or charitable trust, having a customized plan is vital to achieve your goals and to make planned giving seamless and sustainable for your lifestyle. 

Far from a one-size-fits-all approach, Whittier Trust approaches each client relationship individually, tailoring a plan to suit. For some, that might mean working just with the Philanthropic Services team. For others, it could involve engaging all five of the divisions (Family Office, Philanthropy, Investments, Trust Services, and Real Estate and Alternatives) to build an overarching strategy to manage various investments, create tax efficiency within your financial landscape and more. Often, it even involves doing research to chart a new course if that’s what the client needs. 

Case in point: A few years ago, a client expressed interest in giving to educational causes, but she wanted to think outside the box of college preparation. She realized that there was a void and opportunity in vocational schools. “It wasn't an area our client had given to in the past, so our team did all the research, vetted organizations and met with potential grantees,” says Whittier Trust Client Advisor for Philanthropic Services Amanda Buntmann. “Our client knew she could trust us to make sure her charitable giving was done properly and with the most impact.” 

Whittier Trust designed a boutique service to support families with their critical, often transformational, work for good, exemplified by more than 65 years of serving clients on their philanthropic journeys. Here are some of the key benefits of a customized approach: 

Personalized Service

You and your family enjoy a dedicated Philanthropic Advisor and Grants Manager to focus on your needs and interests. “A low client-to-advisor ratio allows us to get to know the families, and the things they care about, as individuals,” Buntmann says. “We make sure we really listen so we can tailor everything we do to their needs.” 

Cost-Effective Resources

Whittier Trust’s fees are based on the specific scope of services you require, so you’ll never pay for more than what you need. Outsourcing typically costs less than hiring your own foundation staff or maintaining office space, so more of your valuable foundation resources will go toward making a difference in the philanthropic causes that are important to you. 

No-Hassle Foundation Administration

Whittier can handle the less exciting parts of running a foundation, such as compliance, grantee research, grants management, board support and general administration. Taking these burdens off of your to-do list, your family is free to focus on the things you enjoy, like awarding grants and interfacing with grantees. Outsourcing lets you avoid the headache and potential liability of managing staff and handling payroll, hiring and firing, insurance and more. 

Advisor Integration

When you engage us to manage your foundation’s administration, your other advisors, such as accountants and lawyers, are free to do the work for which they specialize, saving their time and your money. Plus, as part of Whittier’s wealth management services, giving to philanthropic causes can be financially advantageous to your overall estate plan. Our team can seamlessly liaise with our other departments to help steward your wealth and legacy according to your goals. 

Expert Advisory

Philanthropy is what we do, and we make it our business to know the nuances of the issues your foundation faces. We’re experienced in managing a broad array of philanthropic vehicles and, for clients with more than one, we can ensure seamless coordination between them. We are completely comfortable with alternative assets; our unique donor-advised fund platform offers the flexibility of accepting and holding real estate, private equity and closely held stock, provided there is sufficient cash flow to support grants and fees. And our customized approach to portfolio management allows us to design a personalized ESG strategy, if desired, to help you align your philanthropic assets with your values.

Collaboration for Greater Impact

Because each professional foundation administrator manages a varied portfolio of philanthropic entities, Whittier Trust advisors are uniquely positioned to introduce clients to other philanthropists whose missions overlap. Collaborating on grants often enhances their impact. 

No matter what your planned charitable giving goals are, having a customized approach is a smart way to get there.

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