CICF News / 2010 / April / News Post
April 19, 2010
Life Triggers…Listening for Opportunities

by Jan Edmondson, CFRM, Senior Gift Planning Advisor, CICF

Jan Edmondson, CFRM, is Senior Gift Planning Advisor with CICF. She can be reached at

Life is full of triggering events which give your clients the opportunity to think about giving back to their community and to make a difference in the lives of others. In partnership with you, community foundations hope to inspire people to think about how they would like to make a difference strategically before those triggering events happen.

Some examples of things to listen for or know about your clients: Do they,

  • work with you on their estate plan
  • face a serious illness, death of a loved one, or are they moving into assisted living
  • have a private business that is prospering and increasing in value
  • plan to sell a business – or are planning for business succession
  • plan for retirement - no matter how far in the future
  • own real estate (homes, vacation/2nd home, farmland, timberland, or other investment property)
  • have rental properties 
  • think about creating a private foundation, already have a private foundation, or think that is the only option for them to be philanthropists 
  • own valuable collectibles 
  • already have a donor-advised fund 
  • consider themselves “cash poor” but “asset rich”
  • work for a corporation that gives employees stock, lets them buy stock at a discount, or gives them stock options
  • work for an employer that matches charitable gifts
  • have qualified retirement accounts 
  • have multiple life insurance policies
  • have multiple CDs
  • have a living trust
  • have received a large inheritance or expect to receive one 
  • need a tax deduction before end of year.

Answers to these questions are important in facilitating discussions and suggesting that they really can be philanthropists.