Navigating Philanthropy in Colorado from the experts

November 15, 2023

Giving in strategic ways throughout our lifetime is something all philanthropists aspire to do. Navigating resources to do that well takes skillful Professional Advisors.  

Last week, The Denver Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council hosted a workshop, Navigating Philanthropy in Colorado, to share ideas from successful partners on how to have effective conversations with clients about lifetime and legacy giving.  

Joanne Kelley, CEO of Philanthropy Colorado

The event opened up with a presentation by Joanne Kelley, CEO of Philanthropy Colorado, a statewide network of more than 125 diverse foundations, funding agencies, and philanthropic organizations. 

Her presentation covered trends in philanthropy and showed the impact of nonprofits, including community foundations, in our state.  

Once we set the stage with a feel of our philanthropic landscape today, we hosted a panel discussion about the ins and outs of giving.  

We had three experts on the panel. Maureen Millmore, our engaged philanthropy officer, brings individuals, businesses, and nonprofits together to maximize their impact in the community, including through partnerships between clients, professional advisors, and the foundation.  

“It’s important to understand what donors want to know and how they want to get there. It’s our job to take all that information and think about what may be the best option for them and come back with a plan for them to make an impact,” she said.  

Jason Largey is a wealth manager at RMB and the chair of the Professional Advisors Council at The Denver Foundation. He talked about how this partnership works from his perspective. 

“Starting the conversation is different for everyone. As an advisor, I go through the different ways someone can participate in philanthropy, from making individual contributions or volunteering. Almost all of our clients have some experience with philanthropy. What I think the advisors do is expose clients to a whole area they don’t know about opportunities that are out there,” said Largey.  

Randy Roberts was also on the panel. He is a partner with Armada Venture Partners, a Denver-based boutique commercial real estate investment and development firm, and a trustee and fundholder of The Denver Foundation. He talked about his experience starting a donor-advised fund (DAF) with us. 

I got to know The Denver Foundation through networking, and it was the first place I heard about a donor-advised fund,” said Roberts. “You can leverage all the expertise and tools and people at The Denver Foundation to organize your philanthropy. It has allowed us, as a family, to be more strategic and intentional with our giving.”  

“The Denver Foundation cares,” Roberts continued. “They care about making sure I am engaged in the causes I want to support so they provide me education and resources around these causes — which organizations are having an impact. They are a partner in my own philanthropy, and I don’t know where else you can go to get that.” 

Millmore offered this advice to professional advisors: “Starting that conversation is key. Sometimes clients will bring up philanthropy and sometimes they won’t. But there is a wonderful moment when a fundholder realizes they have so much more opportunity to give to charity through a DAF than they realized. That’s where we can come in.”  

Altogether, they covered trends, including inspiring clients to give in strategic ways throughout their lifetime and helping families and businesses navigate competing philanthropic priorities. Most importantly, they shared the tools advisors can use to create opportunities for discovery for future giving for their clients. 

This is just one of the events The Denver Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council has planned. If you missed this one, here is a video recording of the entire event. Don’t forget to sign up early for our next event in the spring! 

The Denver Foundation offers a wide variety of funds and charitable strategies, including giving circles, to support your client’s philanthropic goals. In this busy season of year-end giving, please feel free to reach out to Kirsten Swanson, advisor relations officer, for more details on how we can help

Photo credit: Blake Jackson