2020 Will Be Another Year of Adviser Philanthropy

The editorial team of PLANADVISER was blown away by the generosity of advisers recognized in our 2019 Advisers Giving Back program, and we’re already working on new stories of giving for 2020.

Art by Alex Eben Meyer

Are you an adviser who gives back to the local, regional or global community? Do you know of such a firm? Perhaps they provide funding to international human rights initiatives, or maybe they allow staff to donate their working time at the local food bank.

However retirement plan advisers are giving back, we want to hear about them for our 2020 Advisers Giving Back program. Like the inaugural 2019 edition of the program, each month, on PLANADVISER’s website, we’ll roll out profiles of advisers or advisory practices that have undertaken some philanthropic endeavor. It might be a local community service event, or it might be an outreach with a global footprint. It could also be volunteering or fundraising—we won’t restrict recognition to only social action.

Besides to highlight the good being done by retirement plan advisers and to attract a new generation, we hope these stories will help those of you who have yet to figure out the role of corporate responsibility or philanthropy in your practice. We hope they’ll give you insights for embracing such initiatives in your culture.

If anyone needs another reason to try philanthropy: A recent analysis of 350,000 surveys taken by organizations certified by Great Place to Work found a connection between organizational giving and employee behaviors. Employees who said their employers made a positive impact in the world were more likely to give extra to get the work done, stay with an organization for the long haul, and look forward to coming to work. All things employers appreciate.

Need some inspiration for ways to give back in 2020? Look no further than our 2019 profiles, which tell impressive and encouraging stories of dedicated advisers and their staff.

A Nationwide Network of Giving – In 2016, when CBIZ was celebrating its 20th anniversary, the firm decided to give its employees the opportunity to volunteer in their local communities for up to a total of 20,000 hours. It was so successful and was met with such employee enthusiasm that CBIZ decided to make “CBIZ Cares” an ongoing program as part of its community involvement initiatives. Today, the wealth advisory, accounting and insurance company’s 100 offices around the nation each decide what causes to volunteer for, and nationally, the firm runs a National Food Drive and Dress for Success. 

A Culture of Compassion – Ever since Innovest Portfolio Solutions was founded in 1996, the practice has encouraged its employees to volunteer in the local community. Today, the Denver-based firm has a charitable donations committee that selects the 12 activities Innovest engages in every year. Last year, the firm’s 50 employees volunteered a total of 12,010 hours of their time, indicating just how much this has become part of the Innovest culture.

When People Need a Head Start – After learning about the work of Head Start, George P. Fraser decided to provide financial education to parents of students in the program and build a scholarship fund for the teachers employed there. “You can do good and still do good business,” he says. 

A Foundation That Spans the World – Since its founding in 2011, the SageView Foundation has raised more than $1.5 million to help meet the health care and education needs of women and children in crisis and to provide community development micro-loans. Much of the Foundation’s work to date is focused on Rwanda. 

Teaching Financial Literacy – Barbara Delaney, a principal at StoneStreet Renaissance LLC, teaches high school girls how to handle money. The girls have expressed great interest in what she does as a retirement plan adviser, so she explains how StoneStreet Renaissance, headquartered in Pearl River, New York, helps participants plan for their future.