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Panelists say make charitable giving a family affair

Published 9:39 am, Sunday, March 3, 2013
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Guests at a recent Valentine's Day presentation learned while they lunched, as panelists discussed "Developing Your Charitable Giving Strategy." The women's event, hosted by HTG Investment Advisors Inc., a New Canaan-based independent advisory firm, took place at the Roger Sherman Inn. HTG principal Robin Sherwood moderated the panel, which included Cynthia Gorey, executive director of the New Canaan Community Foundation; Stephanie Diamond, director of development at Schwab Charitable; and Valerie Connolly, senior investment adviser at HTG.

Jeanne Gnuse, HTG co-founder, said, "We are delighted to further HTG's mission of education, and to have such a qualified group of panelists share their experience and insights on this important topic." Attendees were encouraged to engage their own families, especially children, in dinner table discussions on the importance of "giving back to the community" and when appropriate, choosing charities of special interest and meaning to the family. They were also informed of the many advantages of creating a donor-advised charitable gift fund, including its flexibility, ease of use, modest minimum contribution requirements and tax efficiency. Diamond and Gorey agreed that an adviser can play an important role in helping families formulate tax-smart strategies, and Connolly demonstrated this with examples, including how these strategies integrate with estate planning.

There are many resources to help families with charitable giving strategies, from the beginners to the longtime givers. The New Canaan Community Foundation is one such professional resource helping residents plan their charitable giving strategies both in their local community and beyond.

"It was impressive to learn not only more about the community foundation's success in engaging high school students with the Young Philanthropists program," said Nancy Helle of New Canaan, "but also how it works with parents and children as young as nursery school or elementary school age to talk about philanthropy; children of all ages can talk about sharing and showing kindness to other people."