We begin the process by sitting down with each family, listening and helping them to determine and develop goals & objectives for their philanthropic endeavors. While some families prefer to give on an ad hoc basis, the majority of families we work with prefer to establish a formalized infrastructure and processes for giving, as well as a public identify for the family’s philanthropic mission. Giving may be directed to notable local, national and international causes.
Once we have formulated the nature of the family’s philanthropic interests, we then create a family philanthropic mission statement that embodies the goals & objectives, spending and gifting policies, as well as core values that will act as a roadmap for the family gifting program. A critical component of this process is being able to understand the distinct dynamic that resides with and between each family member, and being able to respond flexibly to such dynamics.
The third step is to review the alternative structures/techniques that best enable our clients to fulfill their specific charitable goals. The various structures include outright gifts, Donor Advised Funds, charitable gift annuities, community foundations, private foundations, and charitable remainder and lead trusts. The complete analysis and assessment of which structure is best suited and most responsive to the family’s core interests and concerns depends on the unique wishes of each family, the nature of the assets that will be used to fund the charitable structure, the timing of the gifting and intergenerational family issues.
Once all the legal and tax aspects have been explored, analyzed, and outlined, it is then necessary to design and implement the appropriate vehicle that acknowledges and addresses the desired level of involvement the family wants to have in participating in the philanthropic endeavors, and incorporates the interests, expertise, and desires of the individual family members. We coordinate family governance policies to determine and facilitate the decision-making function for each family member, and facilitate family philanthropic meetings where important decisions will be made.
The implementation process also includes possible education and due diligence on the different organizations that could be a recipient of the family philanthropy. If the family does not have any particular organization or a specific cause in mind, we work with our clients to develop a recipient selection process. This will involve conducting due diligence on all potential recipients and determining an optimal spending and timing policy to fully leverage gifting to achieve philanthropic goals.
Lastly, we implement a multi-step Fiduciary Best Practices Process which is intended to provide the philanthropy with a solid framework for a disciplined investment process that includes devising a strategic asset allocation model based on the risk & return parameters determined by the family to be most appropriate to meet the philanthropy’s needs and objectives. Ongoing portfolio reviews include monitoring and rebalancing investment options, compliance and risk management oversight, customized administrative and financial reporting, fiduciary education, planning and ongoing guidance and education for all family members.
While philanthropic planning can be quite intricate and involved, the team of professionals at TwinFocus is here to assist our families in successfully achieving their philanthropic dreams in the most prudent and cost-effective manner.