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U.S./world – Asset alliances – Financial-industry partners

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By Todd Cohen

Community foundations are teaming up with one another and with financial services firms to target wealthy donors.

The Council of California Community Foundations, an 18-month old association of five community foundations in the San Francisco Bay Area that aims to build alliances with financial services firms, has signed its second deal.

After forming a partnership in 2000 with San Francisco-based American Funds, the third-largest U.S. mutual fund, the council now has signed a deal with U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, a bank and brokerage subsidiary of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp.

Doing business as California Giving, the council aims to help the five foundations work with financial advisers at the firm, with the foundations offering philanthropic products such as donor-advised funds to the firm’s private banking clients, and the firm managing the clients’ philanthropic assets.

California Giving also is in talks with Community Foundations of America in Louisville, Ky., to be a pilot project for a similar deal that the nonprofit buyers group is negotiating with San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, says Carla Dearing, CFA’s president and CEO.

Under the tentative deal, California Giving’s members would offer charitable products to Wells Fargo clients, and Wells Fargo would offer investment management for some of those products, Dearing said.

Based on the pilot project, CFA then would offer the service to the 133 community foundations that are its members.

“The whole concept of offering a range of philanthropy services to high-net-worth individuals is going to be a huge trend in the financial services area,” says Dearing. “The real power is in local relationships.”

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