There is no one way to raise the charitable question with your clients – and no one way to work with the Hartford Foundation.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear when beginning a philanthropic partnership. 

Why should I talk to my clients about charitable giving? 

Some advisors are reluctant to start a conversation about charitable giving. You may be concerned about appearing to make a values judgment, especially if your client has not expressed charitable intentions. However, by not raising the subject, both your client and the community lose a key opportunity. In fact, many clients now expect their advisor to bring up the subject.

How do I start the charitable-giving conversation? 

Consider incorporating questions like these into your normal planning discussions with clients:

  • Do you currently volunteer at or financially support any charitable organizations?
  • Are you interested in supporting such organizations after your death?
  • Have you thought about what kind of personal legacy you want to leave? 
  • What principles have guided how you have lived your life? Raised your family? Managed your business?
  • If you could significantly reduce your income or estate taxes with a charitable gift, would you be interested in hearing more about that?
  • What if you could leave more to your family by making a charitable gift?
  • If someone with expertise in this area could help you identify some charities that are worthy of your support, would you be interested in exploring a charitable gift?
Is giving through a community foundation right for my clients? 
  • Do you have clients who care deeply about their local community?
  • Do they give to more than one charitable cause?
  • Are they interested in creating a personal or family legacy?
  • Are they considering a private foundation, but concerned about cost and administrative complexity?
  • Would your clients like to stay personally involved in the use of their charitable dollars?
  • Do your clients want to receive maximum tax benefit for the contribution under federal law?
  • Do your clients place priority on sound financial management of their contribution?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your client would benefit from learning more about the Hartford Foundation.

Why recommend the Hartford Foundation to my clients? 
  • The Foundation has been managing charitable funds for more than 90 years.
  • You can recommend the Foundation without promoting a specific charity, and your clients can use the Foundation as a flexible way to support multiple charities.
  • Endowed funds at the Foundation create a personal or family legacy that makes a difference forever.
  • You have access to local expertise. We can help your clients learn more about local organizations and the work they do.
What services can you offer that will make my job easier? 

The Foundation’s staff is trained to help families and individuals explore their charitable goals. In addition to meeting with clients, the Foundation provides a range of services, including assistance with research questions, sample language for gifts, and help with customized gift calculations and illustrations.

How is the Foundation different from a commercial gift fund, like Fidelity? 

The Foundation is a community-focused, nonprofit organization overseen by a highly respected Board appointed by various institutions in the region. Our professional, knowledgeable staff is available to:

  • Help donors identify and assess grantees
  • Provide input on community needs
  • Verify the nonprofit status of groups

The Foundation also gives donors the opportunity to work with other charitably minded people to leverage their contributions for maximum impact. The Foundation creates innovative, personalized charitable funds to fulfill donor intent through donor-advised funds, as well as a variety of other giving options.

Learn more about giving options.

Learn more about the benefits of donor-advised funds.

What are the tax advantages of contributing to the Foundation? 

The Hartford Foundation is classified as a public charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). As a result, while tax considerations vary according to assets, your client may deduct up to 50% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) for cash contributions and up to 30% of their AGI for gifts of appreciated securities. 

The Foundation does not provide legal tax advice; we strongly recommend that your clients consult with a tax advisor when considering making a charitable contribution or a creating charitable giving plan. In addition, a fund at the Foundation is often more tax advantageous than a private foundation.

Learn more about donor-advised funds vs. private foundations. (PDF)

How does the Foundation manage the investment of funds? 

The Foundation’s Board of Directors, Investment Committee and experienced staff oversee the management of the endowment. Their goal is to preserve the endowment’s purchasing power by achieving long-term investment results that exceed the Foundation’s spending policy (the amount needed for grants and expenses) plus inflation. The Foundation seeks to balance expected risk and return, protecting tomorrow’s assets while addressing today’s needs.


Learn more about the Foundation’s Financial Record.

What types of assets will the Foundation accept? 

We accept a full range of assets including cash, publicly traded securities, closely-held securities, life insurance, real estate and partnership interests. The Foundation can also receive the assets of private foundations.


Learn more about what to give.

Can the Foundation help with planned gifts? 

Yes. Our staff will gladly work with you and your clients to create a charitable bequest or to establish another type of appropriate planned gift that will generate lifetime income for the donor, such as a charitable remainder trust.


Learn more about planned giving.

Does the Foundation serve as trustee of charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts?  

In most circumstances, provided that the Foundation is irrevocably named to receive at least 50% of the lead or remainder portion of the trust, we will serve as trustee.

How does the Foundation work with private foundations? 

The Foundation works closely with private foundations to increase the impact of their giving across the community. We partner with private foundations by:

  • Serving as a resource and sharing our knowledge about potential funding opportunities in Greater Hartford and beyond.
  • Aligning grantmaking with private foundations in areas of mutual interest to maximize charitable impact in the community.
  • Accepting contributions from private foundations, which would be considered “qualified distributions”. When donated to a donor-advised fund, individuals can then continue to recommend grants from the fund, having met the private foundation payout requirement.

Learn more about Private Foundation Partnerships.

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