September 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: September 2022 Issue


“That’s probably the period of time where Melinda and I will be around to help make sure it stays on track.”

– Bill Gates on the informal plan to spend down the Gates Foundation’s endowment in the next 25 years

In our July issue, we noted that more foundations were pursuing a “time-limited” approach to their own existence. Now you can add the country’s largest charitable foundation to the list.

Speaking at the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit, Bill Gates revealed that he and ex-wife Melinda French Gates had discussed winding down the Gates Foundation over the next 25 years.

Of course, in a sense “winding down” also means “ramping up.” In order to spend down its endowment, the foundation plans to increase its giving, from $6 billion annually now to $9 billion by 2026.

The Gates Foundation is just the most prominent example of a larger trend in the industry, as philanthropies big and small become more thoughtful about how their structures and processes influence the outcomes they deliver. Read on for more insights you can incorporate to make your own giving more strategic.


Sand going through an hour glass

Bill Gates Sees the Gates Foundation Winding Down in 25 Years (Geekwire) – Time-bound giving got a big boost when Gates said his foundation would likely spend down its endowment in the coming decades. The goal in the meantime? Bring infectious disease “largely to an end.”

A piggy bank looking at coins

A QCD Can Lower Your Tax Bill Even If You Take the Standard Deduction (Kiplinger) – A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from your IRA can benefit both you and your chosen cause in several ways. Here’s what your savings could look like, plus some rules you’ll need to follow.

A "Wrong Way" Sign

What Foundation Trustees Need to Know To Keep Out of Trouble (Philanthropy Roundtable) – Rental payments, credit cards, staff sharing arrangements—here are some common “self-dealing” pitfalls trustees fall into, often by innocent mistake.

Someone pulling money out of their wallet

Nearly 6 in 10 Donors May Increase Giving Despite Economic Fears (CNBC) – Large majorities of Americans say they’re worried about the health of their communities. So 2022 might turn out to be a robust year for giving, whatever the economy brings.

A gavel

The Messy Newman’s Own Estate Fight Has Lessons for Foundations (Wealth Management) – The late actor’s daughters are suing for more control over his foundation’s spending. A lack of written documents made the situation “ripe for conflict.”


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

August 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: August 2022 Issue


“Everyone has rookie moments in their early years.”

– Ronnie Lott on why his foundation provides training and mentoring, and not just grants, for new nonprofits

Ronnie Lott knows all about development. As an NFL Hall of Famer, he experienced firsthand how far a talented young player can go when he gets the right coaching and support.

And in his second career as a venture capitalist, he became the one doing the mentoring, providing guidance, connections, and other forms of support to promising startups.

Now Lott’s foundation, All Stars Helping Kids, is taking the same “investor’s eye” approach to philanthropy. Early-stage nonprofits don’t just apply to the foundation for grants. They can also land chances for free training, peer networking, and one-on-one coaching.

In this month’s issue, you’ll learn more about ASHK’s effort to “go beyond the grant.” And you’ll also find out other ways smart givers are working through their own challenges, from the right way to measure their performance to how they should be taking care of themselves.


How Ronnie Lott’s Foundation Acts Like an NFL Scout (Exponent Philanthropy) – All Stars Helping Kids doesn’t just cut checks and run. The foundation helps promising new nonprofits develop through coaching, partnerships, and long-term funding.

Two people looking into a well

‘We Were Idolizing Money’: How the Yoons Decided to Give More Than They Keep (National Christian Foundation) – Andy and Mel Yoon weren’t happy. Then David Platt’s book ‘Radical’ convinced them to make a commitment that would change their lives forever.

'Principles' book cover

VIDEO: Ray Dalio Loves To Be Told He Was Wrong (Philanthropy Roundtable) – The founder of the world’s largest hedge fund and the bestselling author of ‘Principles’ thinks radical honesty is the key to success. Read a summary of his “Doers to Donors” interview here.

Two men lifting their hands in worship

Everyone Needs to Practice Self-Aid. (That Means You.) (The Better Samaritan) – The cofounders of the “Spiritual First Aid” program have a simple argument: “To care well for others, we must care well for ourselves.” Here’s how to do that.

Young professionals looking at reports

Are Common Financial Measures Holding Charities Back? (The Conversation) – Many assume charities must keep “overhead” costs low to be effective. But an analysis of more than 4,000 large nonprofits found plenty of reasons to doubt the conventional wisdom.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

July 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: July 2022 Issue


“What if we set a deadline to give away our whole endowment?” If you asked that question at a foundation in the 1980s, you’d have gotten a lot of funny looks.

Not anymore. In the last 10 years, 38% of new philanthropies chose time-limited models to guide their giving, according to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Why? For some founders, it’s to enjoy the satisfaction of “giving while living.” For others, it’s to break the gridlock that can result from guarding the endowment at all costs.

To be sure, time-limited grantmaking has its own drawbacks, and the vast majority of foundations are still designed to continue in perpetuity. But the dramatic rise of a whole new model is proof that in philanthropy, conventional wisdom is ripe for challenging.

Read on for inspiration that can reshape your own thinking, too.


Fluctuating stocks graph

Don’t Stop Giving To Charity During Rocky Markets. Just Give Smarter. (Forbes) – Need doesn’t pause during downturns—it rises. Here’s how to use non-cash assets and Roth conversions to keep giving, and rebalance your portfolio in the process.

Two smiling women using laptops

5 Things You Have That Charity Leaders Need As Much As Money (National Christian Foundation) – Grants are great, but so is expertise. Don’t underestimate the good you can do for a charity just by giving advice.

A hand holding a stopwatch

More Foundations Are Speeding Up Their Giving (Barron’s) – In the ’80s, setting a timeline to spend down your endowment was unheard of. But in the last decade, 38% of new philanthropies choose time limits. What’s going on? (You can also read the full report here.)

A pile of peanuts

How Putin’s War Is Threatening a Miracle Food Relied On By Millions (Christian Science Monitor) – The enriched peanut paste known as Plumpy’nut is one of the best tools UNICEF has to fight hunger. But disruptions in Ukraine are making it impossible to keep the supply flowing, and there’s no relief in sight.

A corporate meeting with individuals on their laptops

4 Tips for Bringing Philanthropy-as-a-Service (PhaaS) to Your Company (TechReport) – Platforms like Groundswell are making it easier than ever to involve employees in corporate philanthropy. Find out how and why to hop aboard the trend.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

June 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: June 2022 Issue


What will corporate giving look like in 10 years? If survey results are any indication, nothing like today.

That’s the conclusion the “corporate purpose” tech company Benevity reached after studying shifting attitudes among customers, employees, and investors.

Essentially they found that all these stakeholders want to be involved in how the company creates value for the world beyond the bottom line. And they generally have strong feelings about what that looks like.

Ultimately Benevity believes the conclusion is as simple as it is profound: “Purpose leads to more loyal customers, more engaged people—and a stronger bottom line.”

Read on for more stories and insights that can inspire you to build that future, whatever you do.


‘Stakeholder Philanthropy’ Is the Future of Corporate Giving (Benevity) – Surveys make it clear: customers and employees want a say in how companies give. Here are the 7 elements of a modern corporate philanthropy program.

Children playing soccer

Barrie Wells Would Rather Not Die Rich (Financial Times) – The 82-year-old British entrepreneur says it’s simple: why let your money sit in a bank when you can use it for good—like helping sick children play sports?

Man looking upward

Why Cognitive Dissonance Is Key To Effective Philanthropy (Worth) – Optimistic and realistic. Patient and ferocious. Two nonprofit consultants say the best philanthropists learn to think in contradictions.

A woman sitting in a wheelchair

How One Woman Is Helping People With Disabilities Evacuate Ukraine (UNHCR) – When war broke out in her home country, Tetiana Barantsova escaped in a wheelchair. Now, from her new home in Latvia, she’s helping others do the same.

A blue arrow pointing up and a red arrow pointing down

Giving USA 2022: There’s Good News, and There’s Inflation News (ABC News) – The major annual report found U.S. charitable giving hit another all-time high in 2021—and it still lost ground to inflation.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

May 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: May 2022 Issue


Do philanthropists only make major donations so they can take tax write-offs? The general public might suspect that’s the case, but the numbers tell a different story.

When BNY Mellon polled 200 high-net-worth individuals about why they give, tax planning ranked far below other considerations.

Source: BNY Mellon Wealth Management Charitable Giving Study 2022

Granted, these answers are self-reported, so you might think respondents are downplaying their self-interested reasons for giving. But according to financial planner Juan Ros, these results track with what he hears from his own clients.

“Taxes are a nice side benefit, and sometimes taxes can be the catalyst for a larger discussion of charitable goals, but taxes are not a primary reason why people give,” Ros told CNBC.

The stories in this month’s issue speak to those higher priorities: the impact your generosity can make on a grateful stranger’s life, and the legacy you create when you do.


How an Alliance of Givers Is Fighting Human Trafficking In Florida (National Christian Foundation) – A retired energy executive details the steps he took to launch an “impact alliance” to help nonprofits and other experts collaborate on projects they couldn’t tackle alone.

Here’s What ‘Trust-Based Philanthropy’ Actually Means (The Conversation) – Can funders help more by participating less? Catch up on the concept of “trust-based philanthropy,” which has been picking up steam in recent years.

How Two Sisters Found the Woman Whose Kindness Changed Their Lives (CNN) – In 1999 a stranger on a plane gave them $100 as they fled the former Yugoslavia. Now thanks to a wide-ranging internet campaign, they finally get to thank her.

Make Philanthropy Part of Your Workplace Culture (Newsweek) – A CEO argues that when businesses make philanthropy “an everyday event,” it benefits everyone—companies, employees, and charities alike.

Tax Breaks Aren’t The Main Reason Wealthy People Give (CNBC) – A new study confirms what financial planners already know: major givers see tax breaks as a mere side benefit. Impact matters more, especially for younger donors.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.