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Philanthropic Advising Services Make Sense of Alphabet Soup

CRUT, CRAT, CLUT, CLAT, CGA, DAF—there is a lot of alphabet soup when it comes to the myriad of charitable giving vehicles available to people who want to integrate philanthropy into their financial and estate planning. Add to that the thousands of causes and nonprofit organizations to which a donor can support and being generous turns into an overwhelming task. Cue the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. At the Community Foundation, we guide you through the process of philanthropic planning. The journey starts with an identification of your philanthropic goals. What causes and nonprofits interest you most? What impact do you desire? If you are not sure about the answers to those questions, Community Foundation staff can provide information about current community issues and nonprofit organizations taking up the charge. Do you have an interest in including children or other family members in philanthropy plans? Should your tax considerations such as charitable deductions and capital gains tax be considered? Once those questions and others are discussed and goals determined, we recommend one or more charitable giving options that will achieve your desired outcomes. The charitable giving vehicles are numerous, and each has its own set of benefits and limitations. There are Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), which provide an immediate charitable gift deduction and the flexibility to make grants from the fund to the donor’s favorite charities. There are instruments such as Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUTs) and Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs), which provide consistent income to donors, a gift to a charity, and tax advantages. There are scholarship funds for donors who want to support the learning and growth of others and endowment funds that will live in perpetuity creating a meaningful legacy. There is also the simple and straightforward bequest added to a will or trust designating a specific amount or a percentage of the donor’s estate to one or more named nonprofit organizations. The list goes on, which is when a feeling of overwhelm can set in. We narrow the list to just those best suited to you and explain the options in plain language you can understand. We can also provide details to your professional advisors and include them in conversations. Community Foundation staff call upon their collective years of philanthropic knowledge and expertise to provide a supportive planning experience by walking donors through the steps from initial conversations to the creation and management of the gift vehicle to the execution of gifts that make an impact in the community—and “community” can be anywhere in the world, not just northern Nevada. It’s our mission to connect people who care with causes that matter. We make that happen through a friendly, informative, and effective approach where donors’ wants and wishes are central to the plan. If you are interested in discussing your philanthropy ideas and vision, we would love to talk with you.