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August 31, 2008


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Trista Harris, Headwaters Foundation for Justice

I agree that donors should give through organizations that they trust and that share their values since those fees go to maintain that organization's infrastructure but some donors are more confortable with their for-profit advisor than they are with a community foundation that they many not have a relationship with. If a for-profit advisor has the access to encourage a donor to give to non-profits, I think that is only a bonus for the sector.


Yes, I agree. All is well that ends well. My post was more polemical than not. The challenge comes in when the advisor put the money in accounts the advisor manages, and when the grants from those funds are not encouraged, since that depletes the funds under management. A community foundation may have the same conflict of interest in managing its donor advised funds, but the community foundation at least has a loyalty, I presume, to the grantseekers in a way that an advisor may not.


Trista, on a constructive note, if you offer or plan to offer donor advised funds you might consider setting them up so the donor's advisor can manage the money. Often advisors will only steer funds to a community foundation that gets them paid that way. Can't blame them. Some community foundations meet advisors half way in that respect, others do not. Those that do tend to have more advisor referrals, I imagine.

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