Elizabeth Wagner, Senior Vice President and Director of Institutional Wealth Management, discusses how to make charitable gifts during a time of global disruption and significant domestic need. She reminds you to start with the organizations you’ve supported for years, giving unrestricted where you can to help them through this difficult time, and to accelerate any charitable commitments or pledges you might have made if you can. Think about causes that most move you and organizations whose leadership you trust when making COVID-specific gifts. Lastly, note that Giving Tuesday has moved to May 5, 2020, offering a bright spot for communities to pull together and help each other earlier in the year.
Welcome to the Bryn Mawr Trust Wealth Management podcast, providing commentary on what’s moving the financial markets, financial planning, and other timely business and monetary topics. Please welcome today’s host, Elizabeth Wagner, director of institutional wealth management and senior vice president at BMT Wealth Management.
Hi there, it’s Elizabeth Wagner back again with some giving tips. I have three quick tips today about giving in this complex COVID-19 environment and doing it well and getting the impact that you want as a philanthropist. And then a quick reminder. So first, back to basics. Start with the organizations you already know and care about. Check their websites or their social media feeds to figure out if they’re doing anything specific to this time. Contribute whatever you can. Every amount helps. Don’t think that your donation is too small and remember the more that you can give unrestricted support in times like this, the better organizations are taking risks, but they’re also doing things they need to make sure that their staffs can work in a functional way and be at home healthy, safe, and able to run the organization. And so they have of course their regular expenses, but also some unanticipated expenses right now.
So the more you can give unrestricted support, the better. If you happen to be able to ask your favorite organizations what they need, do, encourage them to think big and do give as a response to that conversation. Secondly, honor any commitments you’ve made. If you’re on a board and you’ve made an annual commitment or if you pledge every year to an organization, do what you can to give as much of your prior commitment now rather than waiting later in the year, the organization will be very grateful to have the use of your money a little bit earlier and we’ll be able to make very good use of it and you will have helped an organization that you care about and that you’ve made a commitment to do good, strong work in a difficult time. Third, if you’re thinking about giving to Covitz specific fund, look around your community and look for organizations that you already know and trust that are doing good work and have leadership that you believe to be thoughtful whenever you see a covert fund.
And you’ll find that they’re all over the place. You’ll frequently find they’re sort of opaque. You can’t tell exactly what they’re going to do. That’s because none of us know exactly how to respond to this epidemic as things change rapidly and so look for an organization you trust with good leadership and then give whatever amount you’re able. Think about strong organizations in your area that you already admire or that you’ve seen do good work before. Think also about under-resourced parts of your community. Where are places where there might be a lot of people who are not receiving services and does the covert focused work that you’re thinking of funding? Reach some of those areas if that’s important to you. Lastly, consider whether you’d like to focus on organizations that are quite strong. Maybe they’re in the limelight, maybe they’re getting a lot of funding from other sources, or whether you’d prefer to work with a more underserved or under-funded community, in which case you might have to look a little harder to find the organizations serving them. Good luck. I know that you are all thoughtful philanthropists. We have so many really generous and thoughtful people in our community and there are so many places where we can give our support and encouragement right now. I want to remind you that giving Tuesday has moved up from the late fall to this Tuesday, May 5th and encourage you to participate as fully in generously as you can. Thank you for everything you’re doing in our community.
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