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Listen Now! Tips for Making a Greater Impact With Your Philanthropy

In less than five minutes, learn key considerations for getting more out of donating to causes you're passionate about.

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Podcast Transcript

Host: Sarah Douglass, Managing Editor, Wells Fargo Private Bank

Guest: Beth Renner, National Director, Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services


In this episode of “Your Financial Journey,” a podcast series that explores questions that families of wealth commonly face, we’re going to talk about investing. But not in the typical way that we usually talk about investing. You know, stocks, bonds, and the financial markets. Instead, we’re going to discuss the ways in which you can best invest in causes that you feel passionate about.

Beth, I’m so glad you’re able to join me to talk about this really important topic. In what ways can you be most influential when you give either your time or money to a cause that really speaks to you?


Thanks for the question, Sarah. And it is a question that’s very common when we’re working with clients. What we try to do is discover what values that they want their philanthropy to represent. Once we do that, we match it up with areas of funding. And when we bring these two ideas together, oftentimes we find our clients feel like they are having more impact with their philanthropy. So that’s one way that we help our clients create more impact with their philanthropy.


Beth, that’s really interesting. You talk about matching up values with sources of funding. So let’s just dig a little bit deeper about how many clients may choose to set up a foundation. So how is that money invested?


Good question. Many of our clients do not manage the investments themselves. They work with professional advisors that have experience managing charitable assets. There are IRS regulations on the types of investments that you’re able to hold within foundations that can create tax implications, if they are the wrong holdings. So what we try to do is we involve our investment advisors early into the process to make sure that we’re not only addressing your needs around what your risk tolerance is for those charitable assets, the time horizons, but then in addition to that, making sure that we have a portfolio that’s reflective of your wishes that are in line with regulations to ensure the tax-exempt status and IRS requirements.


Beth, that sounds pretty complicated. For those of our listeners who may feel a little bit daunted about how to get started in doing more for their causes than just writing a check, how do you suggest that they tackle the question of philanthropy if they’re worried about tax rules and where to start?


It can be overwhelming when you think about all the different regulations that are out there, as well as all the different options that are available to donors to invest in, in these different charities and organizations. If you sit down with your advisor or with your family and just have a dialogue about what you care about the most, that step is going to create greater clarity for you. You’re going to be able to understand, do you want to invest your time, or some of your talents? Or is it about investing financially in that organization or that cause? And then lastly, is there an opportunity for you to leverage the networks that you belong to, to advocate change for a cause that you care about most?


Well, thank you, Beth. That’s really great advice. And it gives our listeners a starting point, which is really valuable. To learn more about making a greater impact with your giving, contact your Wells Fargo Private Bank relationship manager. And thank you for joining us in this podcast.

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