Many individuals and families aspire to create a legacy of generosity and giving back to the community. With the guidance of SignatureFD’s SignatureGENEROSITY team led by Director of Giving, Elizabeth Burdette, many clients and their families have embarked on their own journeys of generosity. These clients have harnessed the power of their resources and values to make a meaningful impact on the causes they care deeply about. Here are three of their inspiring stories.
John Lert – A Legacy of Family Philanthropy
When John Lert sold his business in 2022, he knew he wanted to use a substantial portion of the proceeds for philanthropic endeavors. Moreover, he was eager to involve the next generations of his family in creating a lasting legacy of generosity. With the guidance of his advisor, Matt Barber, and the SignatureGENEROSITY team, John embarked on a philanthropic journey to open a donor-advised fund. This tool allowed him allocate a percentage of the sales proceeds to philanthropy in the form of privately held C Corp stock.
This strategic move enabled John to capture a charitable tax deduction while providing his family with a flexible giving vehicle that could grow over time through investments. The family came together to create a Family Generosity Agreement, setting guidelines for both individual and collective giving from the donor-advised fund.
Regular Family Generosity Meetings with their SignatureFD team enable them to revisit their agreement and share the impact of their generosity on various causes they deeply care about, such as autism, STEM education, and environmental conservation. John’s family has embraced this strategic approach to giving.
The Potter Family – A Clear Path to Charitable Giving
Linda and Gordon Potter have always been dedicated to improving the world by volunteering their time and donating to various organizations over the years. As their investments grew, they sought a more intentional approach to allocate their charitable dollars. Collaborating with the SignatureGENEROSITY team, they crafted their Generosity Purpose Statement, which provided clarity and direction for their giving journey.
They explored effective giving vehicles to reach their charitable and financial goals. The Potters streamlined their estate planning by replacing the charitable beneficiaries of their Revocable Trust with a newly created donor-advised fund. This step allowed for greater flexibility in their charitable giving as their relationships with nonprofit organizations evolved. The Potters’ journey also included optimizing giving during their lifetime using Qualified Charitable Distributions.
As they reflected on their generosity journey, they expressed the relief of having a clear path to support organizations aligned with their values while benefitting from SignatureFD’s comprehensive support.
A Journey of Giving Through Music Education
One of our clients, deeply passionate about music education, embarked on a philanthropic journey with the support of the SignatureGENEROSITY team. With music education as her focus, the client was introduced to the nonprofit Save the Music. This organization’s mission is to empower students, schools, and communities through the transformative power of making music.
Our client established a strong relationship with Save the Music and learned about an opportunity to fund a J Dilla Music Technology Grant at Millbrook High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. This innovative program brings 21st-century technology and music creation techniques to high schools nationwide, changing students’ perspectives on music and career potential. In November 2022, our client had the opportunity to travel with Save the Music team members to Raleigh and witness the impact of her generosity in person. The visit to Millbrook High School provided a tangible reminder of the incredible power of philanthropy, as her gift has the potential to change the trajectory of students’ lives. Inspired by this experience, our client plans to support a second J Dilla Grant in Memphis, further expanding her journey of giving through music education.
These stories of philanthropy and generosity serve as a testament to the power of aligning one’s values and resources to create a lasting legacy of giving back to the community. Many SignatureFD clients have made a significant impact on causes they deeply care about and discovered the profound fulfillment that can come from creating a legacy of generosity. Their journeys inspire us to explore our opportunities for meaningful philanthropy and positively impact the world.