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“Cart Before the Horse” Philanthropy

From talking with professional tax and legal advisors, there seems to be a plethora of well- informed and knowledgeable advisors who advocate “cart before the horse” philanthropy to their clients. Such philanthropic advice comes in several varieties, and most often begins with “How.” Perhaps the advisor asks, “How much do you want to save in taxes?” or “How would you like to avoid capital gains on your sale of appreciated securities?” or “How much do you want to leave to your favorite charity?” Yes, in the right context, these questions are certainly valid, but when asked in regard to philanthropic matters, they tend to place the “cart before the horse.” For an advisor to engage a client in meaningful dialogue [...]

Ask Margaret: What Color is Your Abundant Heart?

Q: Does your heart follow philosopher Thomas Hobbes?  A: Philosopher Hobbes defined philanthropy as "desire of good to another, benevolence, good will, charity, good nature." Yet despite these words, Hobbes had difficulty thinking anyone who was a philanthropist did so except to "enhance the esteem or 'honor' in which he was held in the community or to promote his own security and power." Q: Perhaps you believe the words of Thomas Browne?  A: Browne, an English physician who is credited with the expression "charity begins at home," believed that charity required both cool-headedness and humility. Q: Do your deeds follow in the footsteps of Andrew Carnegie?  A: Carnegie expressed in his 1889 essay Wealth, which later became known as The Gospel of Wealth, [...]

By | December 15th, 2011|Categories: Philanthropy|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments