Articles & Resources

Professional Advisors

On a quarterly basis, the Community Foundation posts a new article in a blog series curated solely for professional advisors in our Northern Virginia region. Articles will discuss relevant information and opportunities to help you meet the financial and charitable goals of your clients, and will feature articles written by Northern Virginia-based attorneys, accountants, trust officers, financial planners, and Community Foundation staff. To be alerted when articles are released, please join our Professional Advisors Network for Northern Virginia.

Interested in sharing your expertise and authoring an article to be posted to this page and promoted among our Professional Advisor Network for Northern Virginia? Please fill out the brief form below:

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June 10, 2024
by James N. Estep, Executive Vice President and Director of Commercial & Industrial Lending at John Marshall Bank

As a professional advisor, guiding your client through the sale of their business marks a pivotal moment. Transitioning from managing and growing a business to strategizing the optimal use of the proceeds can be complex. Your client's focus shifts from day-to-day operations to long-term financial planning, and your role becomes crucial in this journey.

Throughout their business journey, your client likely relied on a robust team of professionals, including a banker, financial advisor, attorney, and CPA. Now, as they contemplate selling their business, this team will be instrumental in navigating the sale process and advising on managing the influx of capital they will receive. This might include planning for a well-deserved vacation and making sound investments to grow their wealth without starting a new business venture.

In your discussions, you might consider advising your client on diversifying their financial investments, ensuring their deposits are secure, and potentially paying off any outstanding debts. Additionally, establishing a donor-advised fund could be a valuable recommendation. This strategy not only allows them to spread goodwill but also offers potential tax advantages.

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May 7, 2024
by Sarah Baker, Senior Financial Planner at Mason Investment Advisory Service

The days may be getting longer as the season heads into summer, but a sunset is coming where the estate tax exemption is concerned. You’re likely already talking with your clients about the changes scheduled to be triggered when January 1, 2026 rolls around. This is the date that the gift and estate tax exemption–the total amount a taxpayer can leave to family and other beneficiaries during their life and at death before the hefty federal gift and estate tax kicks in–is scheduled to drop, rather precipitously.

For 2024, the estate tax exemption is $13.61 million per individual, or $27.22 million per married couple, an increase over 2023 thanks to adjustments for inflation. Later this year, the IRS will issue inflation adjustments for 2025. For 2026, the exemption is scheduled to fall back to 2017 levels, adjusted for inflation, which would roughly total $7 million per person. That is quite a drop!

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April 8, 2024
by Keith Brennan, Business Development Director, SEI Private Wealth Management

It’s not your imagination! More and more of your clients are investing in private markets instead of simply limiting their strategies to stocks listed on the exchanges. Indeed, the number of publicly-traded companies has declined significantly since the mid-1990s. Although many clients are investing in “alternative” vehicles to participate in private markets, a large portion of some clients’ wealth is represented by closely-held stock in businesses they’ve started or in which they are investors.

As trends in equity ownership have shifted toward private investment, trends in charitable giving have shifted, too, toward increased popularity of giving closely-held business interests to charitable organizations such as a donor-advised or other type of fund at the community foundation. Here are three factors to keep in mind as you counsel philanthropic clients who own shares in a closely-held business:

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January 19, 2023
By J. Belle Osvath, CFP® CSLP® AIF®, Financial Advisor

Your charitable clients may be taking their charitable giving budgets more seriously this year, given the stock market’s challenges, rising interest rates, economic concerns, and anticipated cash crunches.

As you advise your clients in early 2023, consider sharing with them these seven guidelines to build a budget for charitable donations that can help your clients continue to support favorite causes and remain fiscally cautious.

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September 21, 2022

By Johnny Garstka, Financial Advisor with The Harvey Group and a native of Springfield, Virginia. 

If you’re interested in presenting or writing on an applicable or innovative topic to be featured to our network, please fill out the form here. 


More and more often, philanthropic families are working together across generations to build lasting legacies to support the causes they care about. At the same time, the common communications challenges between parents and their adult children don’t magically go away, and sometimes advisor relationships get damaged in the crosshairs.

Advisors are often acutely aware of this dynamic; studies consistently show that the majority of heirs fire their parents’ advisors. Fortunately, many advisors discover that philanthropy is an excellent tool for preventing this from happening. That is because philanthropy planning is an effective way for an advisor to engage a client’s children and grandchildren in conversations and begin to build relationships that can survive well into the future.

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May 10, 2022
If you’re interested in presenting or writing on an applicable or innovative topic to be featured to our network, please fill out the form here. 

In the Northern Virginia area, we come across many successful professionals who have significant philanthropic desires. As financial professionals, it is important that we understand different charitable gifting options to explore with the client as part of their financial or estate plans. I recently had a client who inquired about establishing a private foundation, which is one of the more complicated charitable gifting strategies.

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March 21, 2022

by Lauren A. Jenkins, Partner at Offit Kurman, P.A.

The pandemic era is sometimes referred to as “The Great Resignation” because of the large number of people who have exited the workforce in the last couple of years. Some are referring to this period as the Great Retirement, considering that, as Goldman Sachs estimated, more than half of the people leaving the workforce were over the age of 55.

While certainly the shrinking workforce can present unique challenges for the economy, there may be a silver lining for charitable giving. More retirement means more money in motion, from 401(k)s rolling over into IRAs, to retirees being motivated to ensure that their financial and estate plans are in good shape. In any case, there’s opportunity and the ability to fund a client’s charitable priorities.

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January 19, 2022
by Bonnie Sewell, CFP®, Managing Director and Senior Wealth Advisor at Dakota Wealth Management, Leesburg, VA

Today’s social impact culture mindset has infiltrated every business, nonprofit, and financial institution in America. The boundaries of our personal and professional lives are blurred across a wide range of social impact behaviors.


What does this mean for your work with your clients? It means your clients are walking into your office with "doing good" on their minds. You can build an immediate connection with your clients when you start a conversation about the ways they--and you--are getting involved in the community. Here are three tips for starting that conversation.  

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November 16, 2021
by James Philip Head, Attorney and Shareholder, Williams Mullen, Tysons, VA 

When you are developing a charitable giving plan for your clients, field-of-interest funds and designated funds may not always be top of mind, but they are extremely valuable tools in certain circumstances, especially as recipients of Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs), which are otherwise taxable distributions from an IRA (other than an ongoing SEP or SIMPLE IRA) owned by an individual who is age 70½ or over that are paid directly from the IRA to a qualified charity.

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November 18, 2019
Josiah DayAnd just like that, the end of 2019 is upon us. As a professional advisor, you play a vital role in the lives of your clients and their families. But we understand there are a myriad of challenges that arise with your clients’ financial planning during this time of year -- and executing their charitable giving desires is no exception. It would be our privilege to support your efforts to maximize the philanthropic opportunities for you and your clients in the midst of these challenges.

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