By Cynthia Strauss, Fidelity Charitable®
The following was published earlier this year in Exponent Philanthropy’s Outsized Impact, a first-of-its-kind report on trends shaping philanthropy with few or no staff.
I’ve always found it apt when philanthropists use the term “journey” to describe their giving. To me, the word encompasses the stops, starts and, most important, the learning that accompanies a philanthropic lifetime—the side trips and experiences along the way that so often have deep and significant meaning for the donor. Hopefully, your own philanthropic journey represents a unique and continually rich exploration.
There are multiple giving tools available
Fortunately, there are numerous vehicles available to help you reach your charitable destination as easily, effectively, and efficiently as possible. Until quite recently, foundations and charitable trusts were the most widely employed vehicles for individuals or families with several million or more charitable dollars to dedicate. For more and more today, however, donor-advised funds (DAFs) are being added to the mix.
As DAF programs have grown in number, so have the variety and sophistication of their offerings. Many DAF programs have in-house experts to aid giving that requires an advanced level of support—for example, donating complex assets like private or restricted stock, international giving, or impact investing. Donors can also leverage the DAF program’s expertise in supporting donors as they shift to a more specialized charitable focus or adopt an entirely new direction.
No one charitable vehicle is inherently better than another. What I am seeing, though, is more families and individuals proactively using a variety of vehicles to best serve their evolving charitable journey.