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Devouring the Kool-Aid of Charitable Giving

Devouring the Kool-Aid of Charitable Giving
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Binkley Shorts drove a lot of rental cars throughout his career. As a partner with Wellington Management, he spent considerable time on the road in a job he loved: researching companies for investment purposes. This morning, the now-retired but still busy nonprofit boardmember brought his wisdom to ECCF’s gathering of professional advisors, attorneys and accountants. And the discussion was lively and vibrant.

“I’ve always given to issues that resonate with me, like land conservation and education, and I’ve always encouraged others to do the same,” said Binkley, who along with his wife Paula Shorts, was ECCF’s first recipient of the George Peabody Award for philanthropic leadership.

Giving, he said, means setting up donor advised funds at community foundations, instead of creating family foundations. When thinking about, or advising others, to consider estate planning for instance, Binkley said philanthropy should always be included in the discussion with clients and even children. The two—estate planning and giving—are completely intertwined.

“I can’t think of one without the other,” he said. “I’ve always believed in doing something that helps those less privileged. I drank the Kool-Aid of charitable giving a long time ago so it just makes the most sense to me.”

That’s because, he said, donor advised funds are much easier to manage, less expensive, and offer better solutions as well as tax benefits. Donors can direct their gifts to issues they care about. And if, as one advisor asked Binkley, some people might not seem inclined to give charitably, we can help them feel good about doing good. Advisors need to tailor their information with uniquely personal and passionate stories that help clients better understand the many—and far reaching—benefits of donor advised funds.

“Everyone can learn to give and when they do, they’ll see how much fun it is, how rewarding it can be to give to those organizations who really need it,” Binkley said. “My goal is to die having given as much as possible to the nonprofits my family and I care most about.”

For more information on ECCF’s meetings for Professional Advisors Committee, contact Jay Caporale, Executive Vice President and Director of Philanthropy. jay@eccf.org.

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