The Trust’s Gift Planning team provides expert counsel on structuring giving plans that meet our donors unique financial and philanthropic goals. Tim Bresnahan, senior director of gift planning, and Don Gottesman, director of gift planning, provide an overview of the team’s services and how donors can put them into practice.
Tim Bresnahan: The Gift Planning team at The Chicago Community Trust offers donors, and their teams of professional advisors, our best thinking on charitable giving strategies and solutions during life and at death. Our services range from the very simple to the very complex, and are always grounded in the goals of the donor.
In practice, gift planning is really about goals and options for creating charitable impact. For instance, I am reminded of a donor who had much of her wealth in the form of artwork. She wanted to keep the art during her life for her enjoyment, since she and her deceased husband took great joy in building their collection while he was alive. At death, she wanted the art to be used in a way that could encourage and support the next generation of artists in her community.
We worked with the donor and her estate planning attorney on an estate gift to the Trust. The donor will bequeath to the Trust many pieces from the donor’s art collection through the donor’s will. The Trust will sell the art and use the proceeds to fund an endowment that will support arts education nonprofit organizations that support emerging artists. This will allow the donor to enjoy the collection during her life and establish a philanthropic legacy that will endure in perpetuity.
Don Gottesman: The Trust offers donors many ways to fulfill their charitable goals. We accept a broad range of assets – from the typical cash and marketable securities to real estate, closely-held business interests and more – and offer various fund types such as donor advised, charitable trusts, and endowed options. This flexibility allows donors to be generous and achieve their personal and financial goals.
For example, I recently partnered with donors who were looking to ensure that Chicagoans would be able to enjoy our public parks, playlots, beaches, and other recreation areas. We could easily help them identify and select organizations during their lifetimes. However, they also wanted their work to continue after their deaths. Accordingly, I recommended that they (i) establish a donor advised fund so that they could advise on which charities would receive money and (ii) upon the survivor’s death, the fund would convert to an endowed fund where a group of their friends would partner with the Trust to distribute a portion of the fund’s assets on an annual basis. This structure gave them the ability to support their favorite area of interest during life and make an impact on our region for generations.