Headshot of Pragya Murphy

Professional Advisors: Connectors of Charitable Giving by Pragya Murphy

At the Community Foundation, we work with donors to help them support the causes and charities that are close to their hearts. We manage more than 800 charitable funds set up by individuals, businesses and nonprofits. These funds provide support for the greatest needs of our community during the donors’ lifetime and beyond.

The key to connecting with these donors is the professional advisors in our community. They are the ones who know when charitable planning is important to their clients. While we have worked with many advisors and advisory firms over the years, we know that there is always more we can do to raise awareness of the options and flexibility of charitable giving through the Community Foundation. Also, we are seeing more advisors and their clients talking about charitable planning. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the popularity of donor-advised funds, the growth of the stock market, estate taxation, and the impact of the pandemic on nonprofit organizations are just some of the reasons why these conversations are important now.

Given that over 50% of the new funds we create each year are the result of advisor referrals, we decided ten years ago to add capacity to our development team so that we could better focus on professional advisor outreach in the Central New York Community. One of the first priorities that came out of this was the development of an advisory committee comprised of professional advisors. The Professional Advisor Council (PAC) was established in 2013 and Christine Woodcock Dettor, Esq., from Bousquet Holstein, P.C. agreed to be its first chair. Since then, the PAC has grown from 12 members to 21 led by staff member Pragya Murphy, development officer. We are happy to welcome John King, Esq. as our newest chair starting in January 2022.

PAC was designed to bring civically engaged Central New York advisors and the Community Foundation together to improve philanthropic knowledge and networking for both groups. It is a discussion-based forum that allows each group to serve as a sounding board for the other on client and donor issues, developments in the industry, planned community initiatives, the greatest needs in the nonprofit sector, changes to tax laws related to planning and other charitable planning topics as they arise.

The PAC helps us deliver impactful events for advisors and donors on charitable planning topics and to select topics and speakers for our annual advisor continuing education seminar

Amazingly, 8 of the 12 original PAC members have completed their 9-year maximum terms. What a gift of their time and dedication they have given us! We are so grateful to our first two PAC chairs, Christine Woodcock Dettor, Esq. and Anne Ruffer, Esq. for their leadership, as well as the other council members’ participation and guidance over the last 9 years.

We cannot overstate how important the PAC has been to our growth and engagement with advisors in Central New York. As an example of this impact, we have grown from about $135 million in total assets when the Council started in 2013 to more than $400 million at the close of 2021. This asset growth has resulted in over $230 million in grant awards to date, which has helped change Central New York by addressing impact areas including poverty, lead poisoning, literacy and racial equity in our community.

The PAC also helps us with nonprofit connections. We are now managing over 80 endowment funds for our local nonprofits. These connections that the PAC members have made for us with their clients, within their firms, and with other charitable organizations, allow us to deliver effective charitable planning to their clients while allowing them to focus on their areas of core competency.

We appreciate the 9 years of service of the council members listed below:

We also welcome our new Council Members joining us in this new year:

https://cnycf.org/advise/advisor-council/

To learn more about the PAC or our work with professional advisors, contact Pragya Murphy, Development Officer at pmurphy@cnycf.org

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