The E-Newsletter for Minnesota Philanthropists
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MNSights, the E-Newsletter for Minnesota Philanthropists

Amplifying Impact Together 

  Jeremy Wells  

Every two years, U.S. Trust surveys high-net-worth individuals in the U.S. Recently, 82 percent of them said they felt their advisor plays an important role in their philanthropic giving. Here at The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations, we certainly agree — and we’re grateful for it. Many of our donors are first introduced to our work when their professional advisor encourages them to have a conversation with us.
That is why we want to make sure we’re proactive in supporting you as well. From our gift planners to our many resources and Insider Briefings, we aim to be a resource for you and your clients. We know the ins and outs of charitable vehicles and strategies so you don’t have to. And we’re continually evolving to address your (and your clients’) needs, including introducing new fund types such as the Individually Managed Fund. We believe talking to clients about charitable giving can be a great way to not only increase your level of engagement with clients, but also to grow your business through referrals from other charitably-minded individuals.
As community foundations, our long history and deep roots in the community help us amplify your clients’ giving to a greater degree than they could on their own. And our donor-centric approach means we focus on helping clients achieve their charitable goals, rather than pushing an agenda on them.
In other words, we’re here to co-create — with both you and your clients. Read on for more resources below, including tips for business succession planning, talking to clients about year-end giving and more.

—Jeremy Wells, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations
Contact Jeremy
5 Tips for Successful Business Succession
5 Tips for Successful Business Succession

A family business often tends to be the largest asset in an estate, and it can be a tricky one to pass on to the next generation. Many businesses don’t survive the transition. Attorney Bob Chandler and gift planner Lisa Barton give tips to help your clients navigate this topic, particularly as it relates to charitable giving:
First, think big. It can be easy to get wrapped up in details right away, but Chandler recommends starting with the big picture, considering goals before getting into tools. This can also be a good time to ask about charitable intent. “It’s an opportunity for clients to think about their values and legacy, and an opportunity for advisors to deepen their relationship with the client and talk about something substantive,” Barton said.
Get creative. Even if there’s not charitable intent, Chandler said charitable tools may still make sense for the situation. “Oftentimes there are large charitable gifts out of the estate to minimize estate tax. If the client has a choice, do I give it to the government or to my favorite charity?”
Consider the softer side of succession. Transitions can be challenging, and it doesn’t hurt to reaffirm the business’ role in the community. “In some cases where the business is a main employer in a community, a philanthropic tool can do a lot to build goodwill and reassure the community you’re still caring and committed,” Barton said.
Keep family legacy in mind. A business succession plan can transmit more than a business to the next generation — it can also transmit core values. “A donor advised fund can be an ideal tool for this,” Chandler said. “Future generations can have the satisfaction and enjoyment of charitable giving by advising that charitable fund into the future.”
Take a team approach. It’s a mistake to develop the succession plan without including the perspectives of other key advisors, Chandler said. “The most frustrating thing for a client is to get advice from one advisor and later hear from another advisor ‘I never would’ve done that.’” That may mean including accountants, attorneys, or charities themselves if there are charitable aspects involved. Our foundations’ gift planners are always happy to consult with you and/or your client, helping to create a holistic plan that works for everyone involved.

Contact a Gift Planner
New Websites
Donor Story – Nancy Lindahl
Q&A with Nancy Lindahl
Nancy Lindahl

As Vice President of Philanthropic Services Jeremy Wells noted above, The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations’ donor-centric approach helps us work with your clients to achieve their charitable goals. Nancy Lindahl’s story of family philanthropy is one example.

Nancy was born and raised in Saint Paul. “My dad was a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture,” she said. He believed in community service, that as long as we lived on this earth our job was to give back to the community. I learned this as a very small child."
She and John married 49 years ago, one week after her graduation from the University. They have become leading philanthropists starting with The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations. "I knew they did a good job with mentoring the donor advised funds. They have given us good advice about funding organizations we had never thought of," Nancy said.
Their three adult children now have their own donor advised funds with the Foundations. Daughter Megan and her husband, Dan, live in Cottagewood. Son Peter and his fiancée, Susan, live in Wayzata Highlands. “We gave them our funds without any parameters,” Nancy explains. “We told them to give to what they're most interested in.”
Megan serves on the Penny George Foundation and Minneapolis Crisis Nursery boards. Dan, a Wayzata High School A.P. United States and World History teacher, is on the Cottagewood Store board. Peter has served on the Minneapolis College of Art & Design board and Susan has been on the Lymphoma board to honor her father.
“What I'm most proud of is that my father started out with me this way and now my children want to give back in terms of time, talent and treasure,” she concludes.

Watch more of their story
Beth McCray

3 Questions to Ask Your Clients


As end-of-year approaches, charitable giving tends to be on many clients’ minds, and it’s a good time to bring it into your conversations too. Gift Planner Elizabeth McCray offers three questions to focus the conversation:


1. What motivates you to give?
You likely already ask clients about philanthropy, but this question delves deeper into why they give. “Taking the time to find out more makes you more of a values-based advisor, and it helps develop a deeper relationship because you are paying attention to the clients’ values, concerns and needs,” McCray said. Knowing the why (whether it’s passion for a particular cause, modeling giving for their kids or saving money on taxes) can then help inform the what and how.


2. What organizations do you already give to and why? 
Similarly, this one focuses on deepening your relationship and gaining insight into core values. “Maybe they give to the Cancer Society because they had a parent who had cancer,” McCray said. “It’s about getting to know your client better.”


3. Have you thought about how you’d like to give this year? 
“This is more of a probing question to help advisors figure out the best path for clients based on their particular needs,” McCray said. It shifts the conversation toward logistics, whether that may be giving away highly appreciated stock or thinking about the need for additional income with a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust. This is also where our gift planners can help facilitate, sharing our knowledge about different charitable vehicles or helping to create a strategic giving plan. 

Contact a Gift Planner
Advisor Testimonials
Bob Chandler
On Working with Us

Bob Chandler, attorney at Chandler and Brown, Ltd., Saint Paul

On the value of charitable planning with The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations for 40+ years:
“In assessing a charity, I like to see how long have you done this and how effective are you in achieving your mission? Also, how are you governed? It is very difficult for any charity to rise above the quality of its board, and the board of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations is always outstanding, as is its track record. One of the most satisfying aspects of my career has been to work with the Foundations in charitable giving.”

Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations


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