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House Votes 240-179 To Repeal Estate Tax

House Votes 240-179 To Repeal Estate Tax | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Death tax foes are at it again, gearing up for tax reform.
Laura Waller's insight:

This would be another significant shift toward a society where estate planning is more about a true legacy and less about tax avoidance.  It would be more about passing along values through your valuables and less about complicated mechanics.  You could provide meaningful and equitable support to your family without the fog of a constantly shifting and confusing tax code.  In the end, I think it would open up legacy philanthropy to more people than ever - and everyone can win when that happens.


What do you think?

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$25 Million Suit Over Robert Ellsworth Estate

$25 Million Suit Over Robert Ellsworth Estate | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Masahiro Hashiguchi, the long-time friend of the late collector Robert Ellsworth, filed a $25 million suit Monday against the lawyer who drafted the will.
Laura Waller's insight:

I'm always amazed when the wealthy like Ellsworth have such poor estate planning.  This man was a savvy deal maker, but he and his attorney appear to have overlooked some basic financial fundamentals in planning the estate.  My question is:  did Ellsworth have a team of professional advisors to help him think through everything?  


This kind of problem is not just for the wealthy, however.  Even if your estate is not in the "taxable" range, you still need to have a solid estate plan to protect the vision you have for your loved ones and your community in the event of your disability or death.  And it often takes more than a simple will or trust to cover everything. You need to understand how all of your assets affect your lifestyle and legacy financial plans, and that takes the involvement from experts in different areas of financial services.


Have a plan that involves a good team that is looking out for your comprehensive interests.  Make sure they consider all the rules, regulations and options.  Then check it all again.

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Beyond the Traditional Estate Planning 'Choices' | Estate Planning content from WealthManagement.com

Beyond the Traditional Estate Planning 'Choices' | Estate Planning content from WealthManagement.com | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Estate planners often advise clients that there are only three places where you can leave your assets at death: family, taxes and charity.
Laura Waller's insight:

Fantastic, brief article on estate planning and why everyone should do it.  The discussion on more meaningful philanthropy caught my attention, of course.  But the question, "Do you always want to avoid taxes?"  was especially intriguing and made me stop and think.

What do you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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A legacy of philanthropy: How foundation support benefits Pittsburgh, today and tomorrow

From neighborhood improvement initiatives to parks and recreation to social causes, the tradition of philanthropy in Pittsburgh has fueled the city’s recent economic and cultural renaissance.
Laura Waller's insight:

This article is a great inspiration. It's important to note that it's not only the Carnegies and Heinzes of the city who have made a difference through purposeful philanthropy.  It's also the individuals who donate through direct fundraising, donor advised funds and other organized efforts.


The common characteristic among all these philanthropists, regardless of "capacity" is that they all are giving on purpose, with purpose.  They know where they want to focus their energy and their money.  They know who they are, why they're here, and where they're going in terms of the impact that they want to have on Pittsburgh and the world.


How can you become a philanthropist in your community?  How can you inspire others around you to engage?  I would be interested in learning more about your experiences and approach.

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Steven Crandell: Anne and Michael Towbes Give Away the Secrets of Their Philanthropy Philosophy

Steven Crandell: Anne and Michael Towbes Give Away the Secrets of Their Philanthropy Philosophy | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Laura Waller's insight:

Anne Smith Towbes and Michael Towbes are examples of Unleashed Abundance and collaborative philanthropy - 

“My late mother-in-law (Sara Smith) used to say,
‘The more you give, the more you have to give.’
Just the philosophy of abundance. Whether you have the money or not,
(if) you have the time and the inclination, that’s abundance.”

— Anne Smith Towbes


We ALL have something to give - including you.  You don't have to be a wealthy person to be a philanthropist - it just takes thoughtful planning and purposeful action. This article is packed full of actions any of us can take to make good work.  READ it and think on it . . . 


If you're now inspired to get your own philanthropy in gear but don't know where to begin, then I invite you to join one of our Cohorts or Mastermind groups.  I know that you have the potential to be a great philanthropist in your own world, in your own way.  Begin today.

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Words That Work | eBook - MarketSmart

Words That Work | eBook - MarketSmart | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Words That Work: The Phrases That Encourage Planned Giving. FREE ebook for you by @TTUgenerosity & us @ MarketSmart! http://t.co/9bia98V5zb
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All There Is To Learn About Global Philanthropy

All There Is To Learn About Global Philanthropy | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Q: Tell me a bit about Global Philanthropy Group. A: We are a group of passionate people working to make the world a better place – it’s as simple as that. We founded Global Philanthropy Group (GPG) eight years ago because we saw a lot of influential people who wanted to [...]
Laura Waller's insight:

Of particular interest is the comment on the trends in philanthropy that GPG observes.  Note that people of all backgrounds, economic levels and ages are becoming philanthropists.  


People don't wait until "end of life" - they want to be part of the good that is happening.  They don't just want to be a piggy bank for a nonprofit.  And the best part - philanthropy is not just for the super-wealthy.  Middle-market business owners and C-suite execs especially seem to be looking for new and unique ways to be involved.


Everywhere you look, you will find donors / clients who want to be engaged with their philanthropy.  How are you making that happen for them so that they can be part of the new trends?  What do you offer to those who want to help beyond "click and give" or a check?

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2015 Index reveals Philanthropy is growing worldwide, particularly in Europe

2015 Index reveals Philanthropy is growing worldwide, particularly in Europe | philanthropy | Scoop.it
NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2015— 2015 BNP Paribas Individual Philanthropy Index reveals that Philanthropy is growing worldwide, increasing by 5 points on average in 2015.

Via NGOsource
Laura Waller's insight:

Wow - - depends on how you measure philanthropy.  What about the culture differences?  Do they exist? Does it matter?  Are people naturally generous given the right environment?

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Obama Attacks Advisors Selling Snake Oil, Lauds New DOL Fiduciary Rule

Obama Attacks Advisors Selling Snake Oil, Lauds New DOL Fiduciary Rule | philanthropy | Scoop.it
The Department of Labor is pressing forward with a new conflict of interest rule for financial advisors.
Laura Waller's insight:

This is another in the series of blog posts about the important connection between a solid financial plan and purposeful charitable giving and philanthropic activity.


A comprehensive financial plan that considers all the areas of your life is critical to overall well-being.  It reduces stress and allows you to fulfill your most important goals.  But it can be difficult for the average person to wade through the confusion in marketing that's out there.  Here are 2 key actions that you can take in order to keep control of your own personal success, security and significance:

  1. Educate yourself on financial planning - including estate plans and charitable giving plans
  2. Build a team of competent professionals around you - by including experts in comprehensive planning, law, taxes and investments, you can avoid the "snake oil" salesmen.

Once you know what you have, why and how you want it to grow and a clear road map for execution, you act with confidence and intent.  This will affect all areas of your life where you want to improve the lives of others - including your family, your neighbors and even those whom you will never meet.

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The biggest cause of stress in America today

The biggest cause of stress in America today | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Survey looks at what's stressing us out and who's most affected by the psychological strain
Laura Waller's insight:

Money - it's not lack of money that causes stress.  It's the perception of scarcity of money.  There is a simple solution to this scarcity mentality, however:  Financial planning.


Financial planning is more than putting together a budget.  It's comprehensive, involving decisions about your lifestyle and your legacy.  It's about examining not just financial goals but your life goals and the impact you want to make on the world.  


It's also about good estate planning - - over 50% of Americans do not have a current estate plan.  Why is this important? Because all the dreams and plans you have made may not be realized if you are disabled or die.  The hopes you have for your family and your community would come to a sudden halt and cause a lot of instability and stress for your family .. . .


And thus we circle back to STRESS. . . Join me in March to begin a journey of financial awareness that will connect you with meaningful purpose in your life.  I will be holding a series of web calls to explore how you can get your financial plan started and reducing the stress in your life.

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Obama Budget Would Prohibit Backdoor Roth IRAs

Obama Budget Would Prohibit Backdoor Roth IRAs | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Closing the door on backdoor Roths for the rich is one of 10 loophole closers in the Administration’s FY2016 budget.
Laura Waller's insight:

More hits to middle-market philanthropists:  nestled at the end of the article is a discussion and a video on inherited IRAs and retirement plans.  The President proposes doing away with stretch IRA provisions, which will have an impact on millions of families over the years.  Sound estate planning that includes philanthropy could go a long way to protecting family assets.  Let me know if you would like to discuss!

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How Entrepreneurs Can Shift The Philanthropy Paradigm

How Entrepreneurs Can Shift The Philanthropy Paradigm | philanthropy | Scoop.it
What's worth doing is worth doing well -- especially when it comes to tying social causes to your mission as an entrepreneur.
Laura Waller's insight:

Pay attention nonprofits! - - people want to have more access, influence and impact.  They are more valuable to you than just a piggy bank.  While you obviously can't let donors just "take over" and act on their own, you can find ways to channel their energy, experience and skills strategically.  They are looking for fulfillment - how can you give it to them?

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Does the over-researched donor spell the end of spontaneous philanthropy? | Philanthropy Daily

Does the over-researched donor spell the end of spontaneous philanthropy? | Philanthropy Daily | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Laura Waller's insight:

A few weeks ago, we held a session on Donor Advised Funds and other ways that donors can plan their spontaneous philanthropy.  This article is from the nonprofit fundraising perspective and sounds a thoughtful caution to fundraisers.  How are you making sure that you are pestering donors into silence?  How can you take all you big data and filter it so that you are speaking only with donors who are ready and willing?


Your nonprofit's long-term financial success depends upon you taking time to approach donors thoughtfully, strategically and respectfully.


Strategies and cutting-edge service providers are out there for you to access, if you know how.  It's not just for the large nonprofits any longer.  You can access the knowledge and services with efficiency and high return on investment, no matter your organization's size or mission.


contact me for a discussion and links to resources:  unleashed.abundance@gmail.com

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Tyler Morning Telegraph - Janice Owen Miller's legacy lives in philanthropy

Tyler Morning Telegraph - Janice Owen Miller's legacy lives in philanthropy | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Janice Owen Miller was born and raised in Malakoff. Three months after she was born, her father ...
Laura Waller's insight:

This the story of a TRUE legacy gift - - - Mrs. Miller used some simple gift tools to plan her gifts.  Her plans have made it possible to fill the "gap" in philanthropy to the charities she supported during her lifetime.  


But even more significant is that she set things up in such a way that NEW charitable endeavors are being funded that are in alignment with her values.


This type of significant impact doesn't happen by accident.  It takes thoughtful, purposeful planning.  And it takes a team of people who really care about the client / donor  - - looking at her more than just a prospect with "capacity".  Taking time to learn what is important, what values she held dear, and assisting her in discerning what she wanted her wealth to do that would outlive her.

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Southern Campus’ students instrumental in success of Red Cross fundraiser

Southern Campus’ students instrumental in success of Red Cross fundraiser | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Ohio University Southern electronic media students provided production support for a Red Cross fundraiser, “Dancing with Our Stars,” in Portsmouth, Ohio, last weekend.
Laura Waller's insight:

Another example of active philanthropy - you're never to young to make a difference.  We all have something to give, and these Ohio University students show us that this is true.

Congratulations on a successful fundraiser for the American Red Cross in Portsmouth, Ohio

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Surpise Findings on Gender, Religion in Philanthropy

Surpise Findings on Gender, Religion in Philanthropy | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Women Give 2014 study finds greater generosity among non-religiously affiliated younger women.
Laura Waller's insight:

Our local council of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning recently had a discussion on the topic of "courting women donors".  However, I find the religious affiliation aspect of this much more interesting. . .


Giving to a beloved cause, message or institution apparently connects us to something very deep in our being.  Focused philanthropy that includes not only money but engagement, connection and growth can satisfy some basic human needs and take us up a "Golden Ladder" to a more fulfilled life.


Unfortunately, very few of us take the time to examine our lives, our deepest desires, our highest aspirations.  For many, life has become a series of live, work, raise a family, die.  But it doesn't have to be that way - if you know how to change it.


The good news:  Including focus on good work in your daily life is not a "secret".  Any of us can follow some basic disciplines to encourage abundant growth, meaning and generosity.  


I invite you to join The Bonsai Philanthropy cohort in May to get you ready for the next big thing your life.  We will cover the foundational discernment methods you need to guide you in decisions about your family life, work, finances and community.  I will be a great place to begin to grow rapidly and find a life of true success, signficance and security.


Interested?  Contact me

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Nicklaus receives Congressional Gold Medal for 'excellence... philanthropy... family': The Loop

Nicklaus receives Congressional Gold Medal for 'excellence... philanthropy... family': The Loop | philanthropy | Scoop.it
It was not the equivalent of a major championship or even 18 of them. It was more important than that. Jack Nicklaus on Tuesday received the highest honor the United States Congress can bestow on a civilian, the Congressional Gold...
Laura Waller's insight:

The Golden Bear receives the Congressional Gold Medal:

Jack and Barbara Nicklaus are wonderful people that truly allow philanthropy to infuse their lives - - lives lived on purpose, with purpose.


Congratulations to a fellow Buckeye!

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A Vital Pipeline: How Donor-Advised Funds Engage New Donors and Boost Communities - Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence - Inside Philanthropy

A Vital Pipeline: How Donor-Advised Funds Engage New Donors and Boost Communities - Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence - Inside Philanthropy | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Editor's Note: As the debate over donor-advised funds heats up, we're keen to air all sides at Ins...
Laura Waller's insight:

DAFs and other philanthropic vehicles are fantastic tools for building your charitable giving plan on purpose, with purpose.  I like to think of them as "philanthropy accounts" similar to retirement accounts : You set aside money for a specific purpose and (maybe) take a tax deduction now. It allows for a period of concentrated decision making for charitable gifts so you can select the programs and organizations where you want to have the most impact.  It encourages  donors to design a thoughtful plan that fits in with their vision, purpose and strategy for life.  DAFs are growing and may become THE preferred philanthropic vehicle for millions of middle-market philanthropists.


"Far from allowing donors to “warehouse” their charitable gifts, DAFs allow donors to guide funds to future causes with intentionality and intelligent direction." (emphasis mine)

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The Executor's $1.2 Million Mistake

The Executor's $1.2 Million Mistake | philanthropy | Scoop.it
You don’t have to be the Astors or Anna Nicole Smith to have big estate troubles; here’s what happened to the $12.5 million estate of the widow of a UPS worker.
Laura Waller's insight:

According to The Financial Awareness Foundation.  Over 50% of Americans do not have an updated estate plan.  Is yours one of them? 


If you don't have a well-documented estate plan with executed documents, your family may be put under a great deal of stress.  All the plans and dreams you had for them and others may vanish.  This goes for your charitable intentions as well.


Estate Planning is part of a comprehensive financial plan.  It directs who gets what and when if you become incapacitated or die and cannot make decisions about your affairs yourself. However, it is important to get input from a team competent professionals so that all you desire to be realized can actually happen.  Don't leave it to chance


April will be National Financial Literacy month.  Check out these resources to get an early start on your lifestyle and legacy planning:

Masterwork of Philanthropy - your OPUS

The Financial Awareness Foundation


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Randy Fox Interviews Todd Fithian on Values | Carnegie Mellon University

Randy Fox Interviews Todd Fithian on Values | Carnegie Mellon University | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Laura Waller's insight:

Todd Fithian is one of the leaders in financial planning, and for good reason.  He knows that personal financial management is not all about numbers - it's first and foremost about people and their values.  


A financial plan begins with stating financial goals - but there is a lot of prep work to be done before that can be defined clearly.  The client and all of his or her advisors need to understand the why behind those technical goals.  Why to you want a certain amount of income during retirement?  Why do you want to avoid (or embrace) risk?  Why are charitable donations important?


Fundraisers - this interview has vitally important thoughts for you to consider.  It will transform your "ask" into real philanthropy so that your organization can experience meaningful success.  Check it out.


Fithian and his late brother, Scott , wrote a book about "above the line planning" :  The Right Side of the Table.  His firm, The Legacy Companies, LLC, have published another book with an interesting title: The Future of You, Providing Clarity Where Life Intersects Wealth.


Want to continue the conversation?  Contact me


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Relationship Fundraising Comes of Age

Relationship Fundraising Comes of Age | philanthropy | Scoop.it
In 1992 I had the absolute pleasure of working with numerous nonprofits and their fundraising throughout Europe. During that year, I was handed a copy of a revolutionary new book on fundraising tec...
Laura Waller's insight:

I read Jim Collins' book, Good to Great, several years ago, but I still recall his observations about "carefully selected technology".  I am a data nut - I love to see numbers converge into patterns and use that understanding to guide new, innovative behavior.  But data can only identify the starting point.  As this guidestar.org Blog post states - fundraising and philanthropy is more art than science.  We make emotional decisions and then look for logical, reasoned facts to justify those choices.  


But by using technology wisely, to engage and inspire, we stay human.  Our prospective clients and donors know we care about them because we give them tools to improve their lives.  Especially when it comes to social media and the ability to "reach" large target populations, we have to be careful to add to our partners' lives, not simply treat them as a piggy bank.

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India needs ‘new generation – impact driven’ philanthropy | Wadhwani Foundation

India needs ‘new generation – impact driven’ philanthropy | Wadhwani Foundation | philanthropy | Scoop.it
There is no denying the global phenomena of growing income disparity and this is true for India as well. Some of the recent economic statistics have been eye openers.

Via NGOsource
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Cross-Pollinator Angelica Berrie Tells How To Give Away A Fortune

Cross-Pollinator Angelica Berrie Tells How To Give Away A Fortune | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Raised Catholic in the Philippines, Angelica Berrie now runs a charity that gives 40% of its money to Jewish causes, including unconventional ones, such as helping gay and transgender Israelis.
Laura Waller's insight:

Succession planning for philanthropy is not just for the wealthy.  This is about defining your values during your lifetime through daily actions - - - it's not just words or writing checks.  But it is important to use words to clarify who, how and when the baton will be passed on.  So work with your advisors and your loved ones to design a great estate plan.

What are you passionate about?  What do you actively support?

If you don't want the good work to end when you take the final bow, then write out a plan . . . talk with others, mentor younger people who share the passion, have an updated estate plan.  Don't let a "gap" exist after you've gone!  

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A Generational Gap: Giving to Charity

A Generational Gap: Giving to Charity | philanthropy | Scoop.it
The young, the middle-aged and the old have differing views of where dollars and goods should go.
Laura Waller's insight:

Notable is the lack of information on giving to religious organizations.  It has shown up in other charitable / philanthropic reports but is missing here.

I also wonder if the younger generation's attitudes and interests will change over time.  In particular, will the sector focus of their philanthropic involvement and funding shift over time?  Again, are people more religious as they age and thus more involved in supporting a faith community?  Are older people more aware of medical  / health issues and thus more inclined to fund research? 

What do you think . . . .?

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Wealthy Not Confident in Philanthropic Approach | Philanthropy content from WealthManagement.com

Wealthy Not Confident in Philanthropic Approach | Philanthropy content from WealthManagement.com | philanthropy | Scoop.it
Over the past decade, wealthy investors have increased their philanthropic donations by 36 percent, yet only one in five feel their approach to giving is very effective.
Laura Waller's insight:

The key is strategic planning - and that goes for the "middle market" philanthropists as much as for the wealthy.  You can plan your giving on purpose, with purpose.  It takes some serious consideration and discernment.  What are the values, beliefs and life lessons you want to share with others?  What organizations and people embody that?  How can you give effectively?  What are all the abundant treasures you have to share (not just your bank account)?


This is National Estate Planning Awareness Week . . . planning being the key word here.  This is an opportunity to look at our total financial situation and decide how we will spend our time, talent and treasure.  We are challenged to look to see how we will use that treasure to make an impact beyond our own lifetimes.


I encourage all of you to started setting aside money in a "philanthropy account" and to be intentional about how you will use that money.  The philanthropy account can be a simple bank account or a donor advised fund.   The intentional, strategic plan for the long-term impact of that money can be foggy - contact me for  discernment tools to help you gain clarity around the impact you want to make.


Nonprofits - this can be a valuable tool for your donors.  Contact me for the complete program.


my email - unleashed.abundance@gmail.com

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