Though he first attended the Hollywood Bowl more than 30 years ago, Ron Moormeister remembers well those Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts. His voice waxes rhapsodic as he recalls the lineup: Mandy Patinkin, Julie Andrews, a Tchaikovsky Spectacular complete with the bombastic 1812 Overture.
When it comes to scams, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. is just like any other tragedy that callous crooks have taken advantage of. Fact is, from the days following Sept. 11, 2001, thieves have been using the attacks to pocket your cash by either trying take advantage of interest in donating to help those affected or by trying to get money intended to help victims and their families.
Ten years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find philanthropy specialists in most private banking and investment firms. But today, philanthropic services are a major division of most wealth management operations, offering clients a myriad of investment vehicles and services to do good.
At 29, Michael J. Greene of Chicago is a young philanthropist in the making, though he hardly fits the stereotype. He doesn’t drive a Porsche; in fact, he just sold his VW Passat with 90,000 miles and uses public transit to get around.
With a depressed housing market, an unemployment rate hovering around nine percent and stocks struggling, you would think it difficult to convince people to give to those in need. But a Giving USA Foundation report released today shows total charitable contributions — for individuals, corporations and foundations — rose 3.8 percent in 2010 to an estimated $291 billion.
Whoo hoo! A refund. Speaking personally, this is the first time in about 10 years that I’ve qualified for a refund. I think it’s because I took this full-time job at Reuters and signed up to have big bucks deducted from my paycheck. And it’s because 2010 tax breaks passed retroactively actually lowered my total tax bill (and those of many others).
Giving money away has such an emotional component to it that it’s hard, sometimes, to think about in strategic terms. But the truth is that if you pay as much attention to your giving strategy as to your investing one, you can have more impact and fund more of the organizations you care about without getting sidetracked by requests.