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We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

Last week, Lyndsey Crossley, Community Foundation Associate Program Officer, and I attended the Philanthropy Southwest’s Community Foundations in Incline Village. This association of hundreds of private and public foundations provided an opportunity to learn about best practices, innovation, compliance, and other subject matter critical to effective philanthropy. I was honored to speak at the conference with Jason Morris, an attorney with Woodburn and Wedge. Jason presented a session titled “The Day After,” focusing on the essential considerations and actions that need to take place following a death in the family. His session was informative, and for many attendees, this was their first exposure to this important information. After Jason’s effective and well-received presentation, I had the chance to chime in about the gift planning our Community Foundation experts do with donors to carry out their charitable wishes exactly as they intend. This information is important, not just for our professional lives, but for our personal lives and our families. Even if we have completed our estate and charitable gift planning, after attending a presentation that provides comprehensive information, we realize what we don’t know. I presented at another session that focused on gift strategies for the non-traditional donor. I relayed information on financial and estate planning using non-traditional timing, tax planning, asset planning, and income instruments. Most importantly, I talked about plans for non-traditional donors that are focused on the most impactful giving through accountability, evidence-based evaluation, collaboration, match-programs, community foundation leadership, and other grantmaking techniques. Since 1998, the Community Foundation has helped educate the region about charitable giving, with a focus on educating both professional advisors and the public. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, “There are things we know that we don’t know.” So, I strive to learn and teach. Through our Professional Advisors Council and the development of groups like the Planned Giving Roundtable of Northern Nevada, the Community Foundation increases charitable gift planning education. By presenting to the Estate Planning Council, the CPA Society, the Free Family Estate Planning Series, and numerous community presentations, we widely share essential information on philanthropy and giving. The Community Foundation is here to connect you with your community through philanthropy. If you are part of a service club or business association—large or small, local or rural, professional or layman—we would love to present to your group on charitable subjects. Community Foundation philanthropy experts are happy to talk about giving gifts, receiving grants; gift planning or implementing in a general or technical way. We speak about topics that are important to you and your group. If you would like to learn more or schedule a presentation, please give us a call at 775-333-5499. Chris Askin, President, and CEO Connecting people who care with causes that matter