CICF News / 2011 / June / News Post
June 6, 2011
One Quick Charitable Planning Thought for 2011

by Rob MacPherson, CAP, CICF Vice President for Development

Rob MacPherson, CAP, Rob is vice president for development at CICF and can be reached at

Jeff Dible, partner at Frost Brown Todd here in Indianapolis, is one of dozens of experts in estate, tax, and financial planning in our area that CICF is privileged to work and partner with. Our Professional Advisor Leadership Council (PALC) and our new Cornerstone Council (PALC members who have rotated off), offer us counsel and support regarding legislation affecting and the technical side of philanthropy. They are also 75 of the most charitably-minded, community-focused professional advisors we know. Their clients are charitable, their firms are charitable… THEY are charitable. And we are grateful for their guidance and support.

That makes our job as a charitable advisor to PALC and Cornerstone Council members and their clients valuable and meaningful. We appreciate being regarded as an equal partner in the comprehensive planning process advisors take their clients through.

Jeff offers you Four Quick Estate Planning Thoughts for 2011-12 in his companion article in this newsletter. Reading his insightful article made me realize that I have ONE very important thought regarding the charitable advice you share with your clients: Always encourage them to be strategic by basing their giving on what they believe in and the change they want to see in the world.

The vast majority of clients that come to CICF either on their own or by referral from one of their professional advisors have the following reasons for connecting with professional charitable advisors:

  • I want my giving to be more powerful, and to create more results.
  • Writing checks at the end of the year – “checkbook philanthropy” – just doesn’t seem as purposeful, or effective, as I want my giving to be. 
  • I want to make my giving a higher priority, and to make it more organized, too.
  • I want to know my charitable giving is making a difference.

From experience, we know the root cause of this is being reactive in our philanthropy instead of proactive. At CICF, we help clients change by asking them to talk about their values and beliefs. Then we look at things they want to change – either increase in the world, decrease in our society, or change in our community. Developing “impact statements” and then a budget around each of those statements is a transformative approach to people’s philanthropy, and we are fortunate that we get to see it every single day.

This illustration demonstrates what can happen when a values-based, impact focused approach is applied to charitable giving.



So, we rely on Jeff, the 75 members of PALC and Cornerstone Council, and the hundreds of other financial service and professional advisors in our community to know about the important technical and legal aspects of this field, and to help us all stay informed. CICF is here to provide the best practices, organization and professional advice to elevate the passions and belief systems of your clients. We’re happy to share more about this charitable model with you. Please contact us to learn how you can talk about the ONE thing that will transform your clients’ giving along with the meaning they receive from their generosity: Strategic giving that results in maximum impact.