Philanthropic & Charitable Planning
At Stratos Wealth Partners1, we offer full advisory and investment management services in an effort to best serve our clients.
We are dedicated to advancing the mission of each individual, foundation and endowment. We will act as a partner in the community to advocate for clients and we will also assist with the education process for Board Members and Advisory Councils on Planned Giving Strategies.
How do I Decide Where to Give
Deciding to use your financial resources to change other people’s lives is a very personal one. But the process is not complicated. Start by asking yourself “What do I care about”. Understanding what you value, what you are passionate about and what changes you would like to see happen in those areas are key. Different organizations offer very different kinds of support and advocacy. These include:
- Human or direct service – providing a service to an individual that addresses their immediate concern. This could be food, shelter, clothing, heath care or other need.
- Advocacy and public policy - working to create awareness about an issue and its impact and helping to influence public policy that can alleviate the problem or work toward long-term solutions.
- Empowerment and leadership development – developing the voice and the capacity of people directly impacted by an issue to be involved in determining how best to solve an issue.
- Community organizing – bringing large groups of people together to address common issues.
- Research – getting the scientific facts to better understand an issue or medical research to understand and/or find a cure.
- Legal action – using the law to protect against or remedy an injustice.
- Scholarship – Advance the opportunities for learning and higher education for the financially less fortunate to strengthen communities and society at large.
An organization might use a variety of strategies to fulfill its mission. Many organizations working on the same issue will employ different strategies, as they bring their particular strengths and focus to an issue. So don’t be surprised to see an arts organization doing community organizing, an environmental group working on empowerment and leadership development, and a human service provider advocating as well as providing direct service.
Is there an approach to addressing community issues that more closely aligns with your values than another?
Consider how broadly you would like your gift to reach?
- Consolidate your contributions by giving to a small set of organizations. Choosing individual organizations that match your values and interests is a very effective way to meet your needs and build a relationship with those few organizations.
- Contribute to a broad range of projects and programs or to groups in a specific community.
Developing a Plan
Whether you desire is to give immediately or through your estate plan at the end of life, you’ll need a plan to most effectively transfer any asset (cash, stock, real estate, etc.) to the charity of your choosing. If you have a life partner or spouse, you may want to think through the questions above together and develop a joint plan. This can also be an excellent project to do with children, as the whole family learns what is important to them, including them in the decision-making process.
Leaving a Legacy – Creating your own Perpetual Fund
Often times, individuals or families find themselves wanting to support a charitable organization or cause, but want more control specifically over where their funds
go after they are gone. You still support all of the causes and organizations from the process you decided above, however, by establishing your own family fund through a trust or donor advised fund2, your named charity will receive an annual gift of income in perpetuity, rather than giving them a lump sum to do with as they see fit. See our section on Trusts to learn more.
Philanthropic & Charitable Organizations and their Boards
We are not simply a professional asset manager for Foundations and Endowments. We are a partner to those organizations to who we serve by providing support and education in creating and setting up accounts, board member education, creating investment and spending policies, solicitation programs and donor recruitment.