Comprised of over 100 estate planning, wealth management and other affiliated professionals, ECEPC meets regularly for breakfast with a speaker. Dave was happy to oblige and after finishing his orange juice, he helped clarify ECCF’s mission and role for the advisors, taking them first through the history of giving in Essex County as one of the country’s oldest “barn raising” communities. “We help people here because it’s who we are; it’s in our history,” he said. “A community foundation also helps others by working with people of means on the charitable side of life just as you do in advising your clients about their estate plans.”
Strategic giving to local nonprofits, then, can strengthen our communities and enhance our legacies. We can feed a child today or we can help end systemic hunger. Both are important. But where do we begin? How do we know who to give to when there are 2,500 nonprofits in Essex County doing good work?
Charitable funds set up at ECCF are a good place to start, Dave said. Formed for a variety of reasons, donor advised funds, for instance, reflect the interests and passions of each donor, from memorial scholarships and environmental efforts to teacher-generated grants and summer arts programs. So ECEPC members can help their clients consider charitable giving that reflects their personal interests and yields a greater philanthropic investment through their community foundation. The benefits of an ECCF donor advised fund are many (convenience, fees, expertise, etc.) and can deepen an advisor’s relationship with a client.
In other words, a community foundation is a great tool for financial advisors because it brings people and resources together to influence a community for the good. And that’s a conversation that makes any breakfast taste even better.