Over the years we’ve had the great fortune to work with hundreds of professional advisors who have helped their clients achieve their philanthropic dreams for their community. It is our honor and pleasure to work with advisors to help their clients discover their charitable passions and develop a plan to ensure their love, care and concern for the community is put into action in the most meaningful and impactful way. Below are just a few testimonials from some of our areas professional advisors who have worked closely with our Philanthropic Services Team to provide their clients with the highest-level of customer service.
David McGoldrick, Attorney
“Cast thy bread upon the waters… for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth …”
King Solomon’s exhortation to “cast bread upon the water” meant to give to the poor. In Jewish tradition, “waters” meant the multitudes arid “bread” meant food or seed.
Why should we do this? Solomon says we should do this for “thou knowest not what evil shall come”. In other words, we need to give out of our own self-interest. It is in the interest of the king and the country to give.
In modern language, you would say giving or philanthropy is a “good investment”. In the case of giving to GTCF, we speculate that giving results in a stronger community.
So where have Jeanne and I thrown our “bread”? To GTCF to further support causes in our community near and dear to our hearts. We have given to WSU’s Honors College and Medical School. Jeanne has run, and we have financed, a free medical clinic in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood for the past 24 years. We also donated funds and received donations of mobility devices, such as crutches, wheelchairs, walkers and canes, and helped distribute them among many villages in Uganda and Kenya over the past five years. We have also donated funds and labor to the Anderson Island Historical Society.
But is giving just about serving our own self-interest? The Declaration of lndependence declares:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
We hear a lot about “Life” and “Liberty” but not much about “Pursuit of Happiness” which is the one thing that occupies just about every moment of our lives.
So, what are the strategies that we follow to acquire “happiness”?
The one thing that life has taught me is that you cannot make yourself happy. Buying the best things and taking the best vacations does not work. Nor does trying to find happiness in a bottle, a pill or an intravenous injection.
I have found that the only way to make me happy is to makes someone else happy. The most common way to make another person happy is to love them, and if you are lucky, that other person will love you back. This reciprocal love making results in perhaps the greatest form of happiness – which is something we call joy.
There is another strategy in seeking happiness which I call “philanthropy”. It occurs when one seeks someone else’s happiness, but there is, at least, no immediate reciprocal response. Indeed, in many cases, there is no response at all. The giver can only imagine the happiness that he may be bestowing. This happiness may not occur until many years later. It may not occur until after the giver has died. The happiness which the giver bestows may be of a form not anticipated. In many ways, this form of pursuing happiness, is the most righteous because there is no immediate payback.
We often confuse philanthropy with being rich. But this strategy of seeking happiness can work for anybody. The widow who gives one-half of her $50,000 estate to (let us say GTCF) is no less a philanthropist than Bill and Melinda Gates.
Jean and I encourage family and friends to embrace philanthropy, and seek partnerships with GTCF or their favorite charity to experience the joy of giving and “making someone else happy”.
Linda Lynse, Attorney
One of the most exceptional community and educational events I have ever attended, was one that the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation helped sponsor some years ago. They brought in Lynne Twist, a speaker, philanthropist, and author of ‘The Soul of Money.’ She presented the most engaging talk I have ever heard. One of the main points I took away from her moving presentation, was this:
“Money is like water. Money flows through all of our lives, sometimes like a rushing river, and sometimes like a trickle. When it is flowing, it can purify, cleanse, create growth, and nourish. But when it is blocked, or held too long, it can grow stagnant and toxic to those withholding or hoarding it.”
She shared moving stories about the impact that donor’s monies were having around the globe. The audience was so in awe that she silenced the room. This is just one example of how GTCF has been a wonderful catalyst for change in our community.
In today’s world, people want to spend, invest or give in ways that are most valuable to them! They also want to leave a legacy, often by giving to their favorite charitable cause. Much is focused these days on values-based investing and giving.
As an estate planning attorney/CPA for many years now, I can honestly say that the most exciting part of my practice is listening to my client’s life stories, hearing about what is most important to them, and then preparing their plan to create their own legacy within their estate planning documents. It is like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. I view the documents I draft as something that should be as flexible and as detailed as possible, since life is often uncertain. The planning we do today is a legacy we leave for our future generations and should provide an efficient transition of estate assets.
Estate planning and charitable giving is all about people, and the legacies they leave. I love people, and truly care about my clients! Everyone has a story. It is an honor to hear each client’s personal way of how they want to provide for their loved ones, and meanwhile make a difference by providing for their favorite charity or cause. There are so many ways to make that happen. Often, I am privileged to connect them with resources to help fulfill those visions. GTCF is a great source for that. They are in the people and visions business, are well informed on options, and are a great resource to help people accomplish their goals. They are a true asset in our community.
Serving on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Committee for many years was an invaluable experience. I learned so much about the inner workings of this fine Foundation, and how much they care about and invest in our special community. It was also great to connect with other professionals and to share ideas on what we can all do to improve the world we live in!
Kerry E. Brink, Attorney
Greater Tacoma Community Foundation got my attention when they presented an event featuring Nobel Peace Prize awardee Desmond Tutu. While I had been involved with assisting clients in making donations to GTCF, volunteering at the event was inspirational. To be the catalyst for change in Tacoma in such a strong, public statement, headlined by such an incredible force for good showed me GTCF’s commitment to doing good in a big way. That was six years ago and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation remains a vital force for good to the benefit of us all. I have been privileged to be involved ever since – as an Advisory board member and a community cheerleader.
Most recently, a wonderful couple I have known and worked with for years who had a long-standing donor relationship with a California university, became concerned about the already huge endowment and narrow confines of the university’s goals for planned giving donations. The couple connected with GTCF and are excited about the flexibility of donor-advised and endowment funds to put their charitable contributions to good use in the community in a variety of what the couple calls “areas of interest.” The couple is having so much fun working with GTCF. As knowledgeable financial and IT experts, they researched GTCF and are impressed with the Foundation’s track record, fund administration costs and philosophy.
Thank you, GTCF for your commitment to our community and for tailoring solutions to the areas of interest of your donors.
Gary Brooks, Certified Financial Planner
“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large, and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.” ~ Aristotle, 347 BC
I read this quote about four years ago, close to the time I joined the Board of Directors of Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Having been a member of the GTCF Vibrant Community Grants committee before then, I had first-hand experience how challenging many giving decisions are.
The mission of the GTCF is noble and much good work has been done to benefit our community. But it is not always easy to determine exactly how much to give or how to best put charitable dollars to work.
As the current GTCF Investment Committee chair, it could be easy to focus solely on the investing decisions for the various funds we manage but I think it’s also important to keep in mind the destination of these funds. They are used to support non-profit organizations, fund scholarships and generally contribute to the greater good of Tacoma and Pierce County.
Fortunately, the GTCF staff is exceptionally talented and has built a solid bridge between donors / fundholders and the organizations best positioned to utilize this money to inspire change.
Nancy Davis, Financial Advisor
For the past two decades, I have worked as a financial advisor and one of the core principles I share with clients is the value of compounding interest and the positive impact it can have on long-term financial goals. The same value is shared by GTCF through a similar principle called compounding philanthropy, where your charitable dollars are combined with other like-minded donors who are passionate about addressing our community’s most pressing challenges and most promising opportunities.
With compounding philanthropy your dollars go further in driving resources, talents and expertise to ensure our Pierce County community becomes a better place to live, year-after- year. In fact, for 35 years, GTCF has been making connections, building capacity, and inspiring philanthropy in Pierce County. It’s this critical mission that makes community foundations so important and why in 2005, when I was living in Montana, I was a founding member of the Flathead Community Foundation.
Today, I am proud to serve on GTCF’s Development Committee to raise vital resources to support a diverse group of local nonprofits, community projects and significant initiatives working to improve the environment, health and human services, youth development, and much more.
Ed Grogan, CFP, CLU, CHFC, AIF
When Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu visited Tacoma, he spoke to the crowd about Ubuntu. He said that it was the idea that “my humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.” I can’t think of another institution in our community that better personifies the belief in Ubuntu than Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
Being a professional advisor is often more about knowing where to find the right resources rather than providing the resources directly. That is why a partnership with the GTCF is such an important part of holistic wealth management. Our clients’ best interests are often “inextricably bound up” in a maze of information and professional opinions. Legacy planning is among the most integrated of financial concepts and having a partner with experience navigating these complex issues is invaluable.
I am now in my sixth year serving on the board of the GTCF and during my time here I have found that the staff, the members of the board, the volunteers, and most importantly the donors are truly extraordinary people. Diverse interests, open minds, community connections and a willingness to learn from one another work together in a way that is impactful and indispensable.
Amy Lewis, Attorney
As a donor myself, a member of the community and a professional advisor, I appreciate all the information Greater Tacoma Community Foundation provides to donors and all the services it provides to our community and local nonprofits.
More particularly as a professional advisor, GTCF makes me more effective and allows me to offer clients more options for their charitable planning because the staff is creative in designing and implementing gifts. In most cases, if clients can dream a charitable gift, GTCF can help them implement it in a practical manner. Knowing that I have GTCF as a partner in charitable planning allows me to assist more clients who come to me with general charitable intent, but who are not sure how they want to structure or implement their gifts.
Bob Pittman, Attorney
My client spent his entire career at Boeing. Now, battling formidable health challenges, he is embracing the final phase of a long and meaningful life. As has always been his custom, his thoughts go to others.
In a recent conversation, we spoke of how important it is for him to help organizations that have been dear to him, and those that were close to his deceased wife. As we continued to explore how he could benefit these organizations, I saw a twinkle in the eyes of someone who had lost his sight but not his vision. When I suggested that he meet with the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, he quickly agreed. Due to his physical limitations, GTCF’s team went to him, and over the course of several weeks we worked together to create a planned gift that would meet my client’s needs and benefit the community for many (many) years to come.
As a professional advisor, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation allows me to connect clients’ dreams with creative solutions to make a difference in our community. Whether the challenge is selecting beneficiaries that fit a client’s particular profile or structuring their gifts, GTCF has enabled my clients, regardless of budget, to leave a legacy of generosity. Story after story, year after year, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation helps to make my job as a professional advisor meaningful and rewarding.
Robert D. Pentimonti, Attorney
The people of Tacoma and its surrounding South Sound communities are fiercely proud. We are scrappy hard workers with a bit of a chip on our shoulders.
We know we are just as good (I say better!) than our fancy neighbor city to the north, yet we always have to prove ourselves. That is our ethos. I like our secret about “T-Town” and enjoy rooting for the underdog trying to get ahead.
We’ve come to the Tacoma area in different ways. Many of us are immigrants from other countries or children of immigrants. My grandparents immigrated from Italy to the Tacoma Hilltop in the early 1900s and here I am today. Maybe we are descendants of settlors who braved the Oregon trail or those who hopped the Northern Pacific Rail to boom town Tacoma for a better life in the late 1800s. Some of us are even Native Americans going back centuries under the glory of Mt. Tahoma. Others still are military or job transferees who came for a short stay and never left.
There are so many ways we’ve found ourselves here, but we all know this is our home now. We raise our families here, we work here, our friends live here, and we enjoy our lives here. We also want our legacies to be here. It is where we have our sense of place. We’ve worked hard and our local community has made our success possible.
I recommend the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation to my clients because it provides the perfect vehicle to keep our hard-earned dollars where they were earned. Having been a member of the Professional Advisors Committee, I know firsthand the commitment the Foundation has to the local community. There is no better way to show your Tacoma / South Sound pride than making a gift to our Foundation.