advisor banner stock

Ideas & Insights

Let Madison Community Foundation help you fulfill your clients’ charitable wishes, meet their financial planning goals and obtain the maximum available tax benefits.

Advisor Insights Blog

Our monthly blog will offer insights into topics related to charitable gift planning and options to help you better advise your clients on how to meet their goals.

A Community Foundation Perspective on Donor Advised Fund Reform

May 29, 2024

New proposed regulations of donor advised funds fail to take into consideration important differences between commercial gift fund providers and community foundations. MCF President and CEO Bob Sorge shares a community foundation perspective on these proposed new rules.

Discover why community foundations oppose this reform.

The Benefits of Bunching

April 24, 2024

Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, donors and their advisors have looked for ways to use the increased standard deduction while still receiving tax benefits for their giving. One of the most popular techniques for doing this is known as "bunching."

Learn about how MCF can help you and your clients make use of this tool.

Four Key Questions to Ask When Advising Your Clients on Charitable Fund Types

March 27, 2024

Part one of this month’s Advisor Insights post outlines the different types of charitable giving funds available at MCF. Part two discusses four key questions you should ask your clients when helping them select the fund option that best serves their giving goals.

Read more about how to advise smart gifts.

Changing the Conversation About Planned Giving

February 28, 2024

Phil Cubeta, national philanthropic planning expert, shares why he thinks the way advisors communicate with clients about planned giving needs to change, and what makes the Madison advisor community special.

Learn how Phil would change the conversation.

Advisor Webinar Series Kicks Off With Dr. Russell James

February 14, 2024

MCF's 2024 Advisor Webinar Series is kicking off on April 3rd with a presentation by Dr. Russell James. His presentation, "The Top 10 Charitable Financial Planning Strategies for Advisors: Helping Your Clients and Your Business with Charitable Planning" will provide approaches to help your clients and grow your practice using charitable planning.

Learn more and register today.

Welcome to MCF's Advisor Blog!

January 31, 2024

MCF has been helping people create plans for meaningful charitable giving and sustainable support since 1942. Drawing on our deep knowledge of the community and the opportunities for giving, as well as our expertise in charitable giving techniques, we have launched a new blog for advisors to highlight articles and resources you may find useful as you discuss charitable giving with your clients.

Discover ways MCF can help you meet your clients charitable giving goals.

Webinar Series

MCF is happy to present a quarterly webinar series for professional advisors.

Educating Clients on Charitable Giving Options

Featuring Jennifer Ridley Hanson, CFP®, CDFA® and Jessica Schwantes, CPA | Thursday May 23, 2024

This presentation provides advisors with approaches to helping their clients incorporate charitable giving into their financial and estate plans. including:

  • Determine which charitable giving tools best align with their clients’ giving goals
  • Identify opportunities for clients to receive income tax benefits from their charitable giving
  • Advise clients on the differences between donor advised funds and private foundations

The Top 10 Charitable Financial Planning Strategies for Advisors: Helping Your Clients and Your Business With Charitable Planning

Featuring Dr. Russell James | Wednesday April 3, 2024

In this webinar for professional advisors, Madison Community Foundation welcomed Dr. Russell James, who shared how advisors can help their clients and their business with charitable planning, including how to:

  • Provide benefit to clients while improving their own assets under management
  • Incorporate gifts of retirement plans and life insurance into their clients’ charitable giving
  • Incorporate gifts of non-cash assets into their clients’ charitable giving

NOTE: Wisconsin attorneys who attended the webinar live earned 1 CPE credit; that credit is not available with the replay.

Case Studies

MCF regularly works with area advisors and their clients to facilitate their charitable giving plans. Here are a few examples of how we can work with you and your clients to develop a plan tailored to their wishes.

Bequest Creates Donor Advised Fund

An estate planning attorney contacted MCF about a client who wanted to create a fund to allow her two children to recommend grants after her death. The children have different interests, and the client wanted to be sure they each could give to the causes that mattered most to them. MCF staff met with the client to discuss her objectives and concerns and recommended creating a donor advised fund with a bequest in her will. The donor’s two children will recommend annual distributions from the fund. One daughter has lived in Portland for many years and will likely direct distributions to projects and organizations she is involved with in that area. The other daughter lives in the Madison area, and will continue to give to her mother’s favorite causes in the arts, environment and early childhood education.

IRA Designation Creates Donor Advised Fund

While working on a client’s estate plan, their attorney realized the client had several different goals for their planned giving, wanting to both make immediate gifts and to create a lasting legacy through a variety of endowed funds. The advisor turned to MCF, knowing that we would be able to help the client achieve all their goals relatively simply. To meet both the immediate and long-term goals this donor outlined, we created a legacy giving agreement that did the following: using the proceeds of the client’s individual retirement account (IRA), the bequest immediately distributed a variety of small, one-time gifts to 20 different charities in Wisconsin and across the nation; made a larger distribution to the UW Foundation to create a new scholarship in the donor’s name; and established a scholarship fund to be managed by MCF, with an annual award provided to a Middleton High School student. The remaining funds created a permanently endowed donor advised fund that the donor's three adult children could recommend grants from.

Using Life Insurance Proceeds to Create Donor Designated Funds

A client told their advisor that they wanted to provide permanent support for three different organizations as part of their estate plan. The advisor recommending using the client’s life insurance proceeds to fund this giving, and suggested the client contact MCF to facilitate the gifts. We helped the client create a statement of intent to create permanent named endowment funds designated for the three organizations – a local church, a national children's health organization and an orphanage in Colorado where the donor was raised. The donor named MCF as the beneficiary of the insurance policy, knowing the proceeds would be used to leave a lasting family legacy of support to these organizations.

Bequest Creates Field of Interest Fund

These clients knew exactly what type of work they wanted to support with their giving, but didn’t want to commit their gift to just one organization. They understood that over time the areas of greatest need were likely to shift and wanted to be sure their support was directed where it would have the greatest impact. Their attorney knew that MCF’s deep knowledge of the area’s nonprofit organizations and its permanent nature meant we probably would have a solution. We met with the clients and advisor and recommended that they use their bequest to create a field of interest fund. Today, their fund makes grants to support neighborhood and community centers in Madison. Grants are recommended by MCF staff and approved by the MCF Board of Governors, and have been used to support capital campaigns, technology equipment, food pantries and youth programs at the community centers.

Supporting Many Organizations With a Designated Passthrough Fund

An older man supported 30 different organizations each year and was finding it harder to manage his giving. He also wanted to continue to support these organizations after his death. He knew his son would not have the time to manage the giving on his behalf, so his accountant recommended that he talk to someone at MCF. We worked with the donor to create a designated passthrough fund to support his 30 chosen organizations during his lifetime. When the donor died, a charitable bequest added to the fund. Each year, 20% of the fund’s current balance is distributed to the 30 different organizations in proportions established by the donor. When the fund balance falls below a set amount, MCF will distribute the fund’s entire balance. MCF provides the donor’s son a report on distributions made each year. If any of the named organizations cease to exist, MCF, in consultation with the donor’s son, will direct the share of the annual distribution to another organization with a similar mission.

How MCF Works With You

Madison Community Foundation’s philanthropic advisors help you achieve your clients’ charitable giving goals.

Learn How MCF Works With Advisors


Planned Giving for Your Clients

When you work with MCF on your clients' planned giving, you can help them make a gift that will benefit the causes they care about for years to come

More About MCF's Planned Giving Options