MONTHLY LEARNING | Warehousing Wealth

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This summer we borrowed an idea from one of our favorite resources - Scaling Up - and implemented a monthly learning lunch for the team. Inspired by our work with Center for Equity and Inclusion, we are focusing on understanding the ways our industry is entangled with the history and structure of wealth in this country. In the spirit of community, we want to share what we are reading with you.

In August, we focused on charitable giving, a topic very near and dear to our hearts and our work with clients. We read “Warehousing Wealth: Donor-Advised Charity Funds Sequestering Billions in the Face of Growing Inequality” by Chuck Collins and Helen Flannery. They draw attention to the increased giving to donor advised funds (DAFs) housed at financial firms like Fidelity and Goldman Sachs; to the detriment of direct giving and community foundation-based DAFs. 

Unlike community foundations, these huge Wall Street firms have no requirement or incentive to distribute out their funds to charities, despite having facilitated the charitable tax deduction for their donors. This trend has led to record levels of “giving” on paper along with diminishing donations to actual charities - a worrying trend indeed!

We hope you will give the interview a read and share your thoughts with us.