At Ascendant, we’ll help you create a culture of planned family giving.
The starting point for our work is the client’s motivations, values, goals and interests. The impact of philanthropic giving is greater if time and effort is invested in defining a mission and goals, conducting research to learn about social issues, and formulating strategies to achieve those goals.
Our work includes the design of creative philanthropic strategies that target specific needs and opportunities to make a difference; and implementation and evaluation of these strategies.
Ascendant helps families, charities and small businesses inspire generous ideas into strategic philanthropy programs. These strategies are designed to promote positive social change and achieve philanthropic goals of our clients.
Our objective is to streamline the delivery of services to the community by working collaboratively to solve issues and improve operations.
Planning Your Giving
Identify What Inspires You
Determining what inspires you will help you to be proactive and to implement giving strategies that fulfill your personal vision.
Create a Giving Mission Statement
Organizations create mission statements to focus their operations and to communicate their intentions to the public. A personal “giving mission statement” can provide you with similar benefits while serving as a guidepost for your decision making and a tool to help you assess your progress.
Developing a mission statement can be both inspiring and powerful. Typically one to three sentences, this statement articulates your giving goals and the methods that will be used to achieve them. A personal and living document, it may change over time as your goals and motivations evolve.
Review Your Giving History
Begin by reflecting on why and how you have given in the past. Understanding your charitable history can give you valuable insights into your own giving patterns and practices. As you assess your history and articulate your goals for the future, you can decide what practices you wish to continue and which, if any, you would like to change.
Engage the Next Generation
Family giving presents a significant opportunity to pass down values across generations and to teach valuable lessons related to wealth and inheritance. For these reasons, it is important to involve younger family members in the family’s philanthropy early and often.
It is important for advisors to be aware of various strategies for bringing children and grandchildren into the planning process, including:
- Providing opportunities for experiential learning. For example, we may encourage clients to set aside a pool of discretionary funds over which the next generation has spending authority.
- Encourage grandparents to write letters describing the motivations behind their philanthropy and laying out the goals they hope to achieve with their charitable investments. Letters such as these can foster meaningful dialogue across generations and help guide the continuation of family philanthropy.
Research Non-Profit organizations (NPOs)
Because nonprofits are considered part of the public trust, they must follow strict operating guidelines. These guidelines make it easy to research, evaluate, and monitor the activities of the nonprofits that interest you.
Form the Client-Focused Team
Effective charitable planning requires the collaboration of a diverse set of private client advisors—from wealth managers to accountants to estate planning attorneys.
You get much more from your giving when you retain professionals in the field.
You are able to:
- Be more strategic in your giving
- Get more leverage by focusing your contributions
- Be assured that your intent will be followed
- Align your lifetime and legacy giving with your passions
- Increase the effectiveness of your philanthropic dollars
- Make sure your giving responds to social and economic changes
Decide Where to Give
Your personal mission statement will help you select causes to support. In some cases, this may mean continuing, expanding, or reevaluating relationships with organizations or groups you have supported in the past.
Build the Strategy
Understanding and expressing what you hope to achieve with your gifts is the first step to building a personal giving strategy. This vision will guide your decisions regarding the organizations you support and provide a benchmark for measuring your success.
Present Customized Strategies
- Developing or clarifying your personal mission
- Assessing your previous and current giving to determine how aligned it is with your interests and passions
- Defining the scope of your desired involvement in the charitable giving process—how much or how little you want to participate
- Developing the guidelines, protocols and tools needed to support your giving
- Conducting issue area research and environmental scans
- Together with your advisors, exploring the vehicle options for supporting your philanthropy or, if you already have a trust or foundation, ensuring that the necessary practices and procedures are in place
- Constructing a strategy with actionable steps that will help you achieve the impact you want to have
- Creating and implementing a plan for involving the next generation in your giving
Whether you are just beginning to formalize your giving, looking to be more strategic and effective, or just need “a second set of eyes”, our customized charitable giving strategies ensure that your philanthropic endeavors effectively advance the issues and causes you are most passionate about.
Headquartered in South Florida, we are supported by a team of philanthropic specialists, allowing us to create optimal donor-specific solutions for individuals, families and small businesses nationally.
Small Business Owners
If you’re like many small business owners, you understand the value of being involved and giving back to the community in some way. The benefits of helping your community create opportunities for those in need, directly affects the bottom lines of your company. A safe, educated and close knit community produces great economic benefits of which you as the business owner will be able to take advantage.
Giving back doesn’t have to be complicated. My company is small, so we keep it simple: My partner and I have each chosen causes that are close to our heart, and we set aside a certain dollar amount to donate regularly. It doesn’t matter how you do it—what matters is that you do it.
What causes do you care about? How does your business contribute to them—and to the community?
Small business owners always have the dilemma of how is the best way to transfer or sell their businesses. Small businesses usually are the largest asset a business owner has.
Should the business stay in the family or should the business be sold to an outside entity? What are the tax consequences to the business owner at sale? Most advisors and estate planners only plan for testamentary transfer of businesses to their clients, but as previously mentioned many business owners are philanthropic and are unaware of the charitable strategies available to efficiently transfer their businesses to family or outside entities in a tax advantaged way.
We are here to help you navigate your way through the myriad of rules and regulations along with a team of experts in tax and estate planning.
Ascendant Planned Giving, Inc. is registered as a Professional Fundraising Consultant with the State of Florida. (FC39030)