Advisor Needing Advice

Dear FFTC,

I am a financial advisor and I recently started working with some new clients who need advice regarding charitable giving. I don’t have much expertise in this area, but my colleagues often work with my local community foundation. What is a community foundation and how do you work with financial advisors? – Advisor Needing Advice


Dear Advisor,

We are so glad you asked! Many people are unaware of community foundations and how helpful they can be when planning charitable giving.

A community foundation is a grantmaking public charity dedicated to improving the lives of people in its geographic area. Foundation For The Carolinas, for instance, serves the 13-county region around Charlotte, NC.

Community foundations bring together the financial resources of individuals, families and businesses to support qualified nonprofits. Unlike private foundations, which give grants based on the entity’s giving priorities, community foundations distribute grants on behalf of many individual fundholders, each with their own charitable interests.

They can help your clients by administering a variety of charitable funds – such as donor advised funds, scholarship funds or designated funds to benefit a specific nonprofit, house of worship or educational institution – or by helping establish planned gifts for future giving. Many community foundations also give their own resources to local initiatives and work to collaborate with the public and private sectors to improve their communities.

One other advantage is that some community foundations can accept illiquid assets that individual nonprofits may not have the resources to accept. They can work with you and your clients to turn commercial real estate or privately-held business interests into major charitable impact.

The experts at community foundations do not give tax or legal advice. That is your role. But they will do all they can to help you help your clients, keeping advisors as involved as you wish.


Do you have your own question? Get in touch with us below.

Jennifer (she/her) is Vice President, Marketing Operations at FFTC. She lives with her family in Huntersville and volunteers with PFLAG Charlotte.