By Todd Cohen
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Wachovia is retooling the way it delivers philanthropic services.
Overseeing $13 billion in charitable assets, about evenly divided between institutional assets and individuals assets, Wachovia employs 25 philanthropic consultants and over 100 trust advisers in its service area that runs from Massachusetts to Texas.
While the Charlotte-based bank’s philanthropic consultants until July served both individual clients and nonprofits, they devoted most of their time to individuals, particularly in the area of planned giving, because of the complexity involved in addressing their philanthropic needs, says H. King McGlaughon, managing executive of Wachovia’s National Philanthropic Practice, which is based in Winston-Salem.
The bank now has transferred services for individual customers to trust advisors, giving philanthropic consultants more time to devote to nonprofits, a sector that has doubled in size in the last 10 years, McGlaughon says.
“So the demand for nonprofit services is greater than ever before, and the complexity of providing those services to nonprofit organizations is increasing,” he says. “We feel that to serve that market effectively, we need people who are dedicated solely to that.”
Robin Ganzert, senior vice president and managing director of the Wachovia National Center for Planned Giving, has been named national director of philanthropic support services for all the bank’s nonprofit clients.
Wachovia wants to be a one-stop shop for nonprofits, McGlaughon says, providing banking and financial services that range from traditional checking and savings accounts to investment-management for endowments, trust administration for planned giving, retirement-planning products and services, lending and credit services, and insurance services.
The bank also provides consulting on issues like fundraising and organizational governance to nonprofit clients without a fee.
Philanthropic consultants will continue to focus on planned-giving services, working through nonprofits with their donors, McGlaughon says.
And as Wachovia expands to California, Colorado, Illinois and Nevada through acquisitions of Golden West Financial in Oakland, Calif., and Western Financial Bank in Irvine, Calif., it will offer wealth-management services, including charitable planning for individuals and nonprofits.
“Wachovia understands that charitable and nonprofit services are an integral component of its offerings as it enters new markets,” McGlaughon says.
Rooted in Winston-Salem’s Moravian community, with its strong core principle of community service and engagement, McGlaughon says, Wachovia has a special focus on philanthropy that “represents not only a significant business commitment, but also a fulfillment of its core corporate beliefs.”
Wachovia places a high priority on providing banking and financial-planning services to nonprofits and to individuals who make charitable donations, McGlaughon says.
“Philanthropy is good business because, first and foremost, it is a core financial behavior of our clients,” he says. “The vast majority of Wachovia bank clients are engaged in charitable giving on an ongoing basis. And because of that, it makes business sense for us to support and provide services in support of our clients’ philanthropy.”
And the bank’s own philanthropy is closely tied to its business, McGlaughon says.
“On a corporate level, Wachovia understands that its commitment is not only serving clients, but also being a good citizen in the communities in which it operates,” he says. “And it lives out that obligation through its corporate giving.”
Frank Addision, director of philanthropy for the company, says that while corporate philanthropy and providing philanthropic services both are important to Wachovia, it tries to keep its relationships with customers from influencing its decisions on corporate philanthropy.