What's More Fun Than Hearing a Speech on Death and Taxes?

Charitable Solutions’ President Bryan Clontz is available for public and private speaking engagements on the following topics:

How would you help a client who wants to donate farmland, mineral rights or a vacation home to charity? Non-cash assets such as real estate, closely held stock, and collectibles are estimated to be a $40-$60 trillion market; yet non-cash assets represent less than 2% of all charitable gifts.

Having a thorough understanding of charitable planning techniques is critical when assisting affluent donors/clients with charitable giving and tax planning. Bryan Clontz will cover how to maximize your clients’ deductions through untapped assets such as real estate, privately held C corporations, S corporations, LLCs, limited partnerships and other unique assets. This highly interactive session will employ case studies to illuminate key points.

These top 10 trends have completely changed the charitable planning landscape. What are the hot vehicles and assets right now? How will demographics change charitable planning? What kind of grade should advisors get in working with clients on charitable plans? How are charities and advisors dealing with ubiquitous charitable planning information? These are just a sampling of the provocative topics that will be covered.

After a long career in any field, strange things tend to happen creating teachable moments resulting, hopefully, in lessons learned.  This comedic jaunt through the always funny topics of death and taxes is designed to help us laugh at our strange profession, generally, and at my wince-inducing personal stories more specifically. If you learn something profound and life-changing in the eight vignettes, however, it will be completely by mistake. My only goal is to break into the elite club of the top 10 planned giving comedians.

As clients and donors seek tax-effective ways to manage and distribute their wealth, it’s increasingly important to offer charitable and estate planning recommendations that match their individual needs. In this highly interactive session, Bryan will present distinct community foundation case studies that include complex charitable and estate planning dilemmas and solutions. He’ll present a cross-disciplinary approach touching on legal, tax, investment, insurance and financial planning techniques unique to each charitable case. Attendees will be able to offer charitable solutions that they can readily employ with your clients.

After working with or for over 250 community foundations the last 20 years, Bryan has developed a not-so-short list of things that drive him nuts. This fun, but intentionally provocative, talk will skewer sacred cows by answering questions like: Who cares if you are the best kept secret in town? If you have Board deadwood, don’t you think it is your fault? Why do you keep trying to gather acorns when mature oaks already exist? And why do you keep trying to raise discretionary money in all the wrong places? And then there are 23 more fun-filled questions! If you dare to come to this session, bring some thick skin, a sense of humor, some tissues for tears and a notepad.

Did you know that privately held real estate wealth is more than double that of the entire stock market? And that real estate investors are among the most generous donors in the country? So why do they primarily make all their donations in cash? This makes no sense.This session will cover all the real estate donation options, challenges and solutions. Attendees will learn how environmental challenges don’t really exist.

  1. Why gift acceptance committees can be the biggest obstacle.
  2. The various ways charities can receive real estate with little or no risk.
  3. Practical due diligence and management checklists. And much, much more!

Did you know that there are more S-corporations than C-corporations and LLCs combined? Many of these donors have very low adjusted tax basis in the stock and the inside assets and would like to be charitable. This session will cover all the S-corp stock and asset donation options, challenges and solutions. Attendees will learn:How Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UBTI) impacts these donations.

  • How to mitigate the recognized UBTI by 50 percent.
  • How to use S-corp stock to fund life-income gifts.
  • How to use S-corp assets to make donations even with multiple shareholders. And much, much more!

In this highly interactive session, Bryan will present the history, growth and current status of donor advised funds – the fastest growing charitable vehicle over the last 20 years. Four distinct case studies will be offered covering complex charitable planning dilemmas where donor advised funds are the ideal solution. He’ll present a cross-disciplinary approach touching on legal, tax, investment and financial planning techniques unique to each charitable case.

Have you ever wondered why people say – “If you have seen one community foundation, you have seen one community foundation!” And when talking with your regional or national colleagues, you think they are speaking a completely different language. It is because the intentional or unintentional operating model for a specific community foundation can change everything – the kinds of donors, funds, grants, policies, fees and staff. This interactive session will cover the four most common operating models and the positive and negative implications for each one. Some have called this session – “the community foundation decoder ring.” But no attendee has ever left without viewing community foundations in a completely different way!

In this session, attendees will learn how to create or enhance a robust planned giving program with no money and in just 2-3 hours per month. Bryan will explain planned giving in simple terms, describes what really motivates donors to give, how to prospect and have the conversation while literally providing a step-by-step action plan for when you get back to the office. Over the last 20 years, more than 3,000 attendees have enjoyed and benefited from this talk and nearly everyone says: “I never thought it could be this easy and for absolutely no money!”

This highly interactive session will not focus on the reason to have an endowment, but instead on the design and implementation of a plan to grow your endowment. We will discuss the best practices of board engagement, prospecting, marketing, cultivating donors, having the conversation, gift documentation and recognition. The session will be very practical and will offer specific how-to suggestions that attendees can follow — almost like an endowment building recipe!

  1. As professional advisors are more involved with high net worth comprehensive planning, many are directly or indirectly involved with charitable planning. After more than 25 years of working with advisors in this space, seven key common planning mistakes have emerged. Attendees for this interactive session will learn about the following charitable planning weaknesses:Many advisors aren’t raising the charitable question in the right way at the right time.
  2. Many advisors presume all clients want to accumulate wealth for generations.
  3. Many advisors don’t run the numbers.
  4. Many advisors frequently let the tax tail wag the dog.
  5. Many advisors are not engaging with the charitable beneficiaries as part of the planning process.
  6. Many advisors make things too complicated.
  7. Many advisors aren’t looking far enough across the balance sheet for assets other than cash.

This session will include research, tools and case studies for each of the respective gaps, and as a result, attendees will be more confident when developing and executing charitable plans.

Not much seems to confuse charities more than gift annuity reinsurance. Generally, insurance companies want to reinsure everything to eliminate risk and investment managers want to use asset allocation to eliminate risk. Like most things in life, there is usually a balance that is optimal. So this session will explain the basics of how reinsurance works, what it means to the charity and the donor, and how it can be effectively used to mitigate risk and reduce reserve requirements. We will also spend some time covering where it doesn’t fit well within pools.

When the stock market is horrible, donors love gift annuities. And when the stock market is horrible, charities hate gift annuities. This session will discuss all the best and worst practices as it relates to maintaining a healthy CGA pool now and going forward.

Life insurance is the most mercurial of gift planning vehicles. To some, it is an elegant and simple way to capture a fixed amount that exactly matches the donor’s intent. To others, it is a complex way to book gifts now that result in no eventual gift, potential litigation and/or never-ending management problems. And then in the middle, the stars sometimes align to allow a life insurance strategy to work wonderfully in about five percent of the situations with the understanding that it normally doesn’t work the other 95 percent of the time. This paper is not intended to take one position or the other. Rather, it is a survey presentation to discuss and explain each of these three distinct categories – “Tried and True”, “Black and Blue” and “It’s Up to You.” These sections are followed with a “Things You Must Do” section, where critically important pre- and post-gift acceptance issues will be covered. Finally, two case studies will be offered including questions and alternative solutions as well as additional readings.

This session covers the basics and beyond of crypto currency donations for the donor, the charity and professional advisors.

Learn more about one of the newest opportunities in planned giving:  qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) for life income gifts (CRTs and CGAs).  I will cover the new rules, open questions, practical considerations, and case study opportunities. Attendees will be prepared to:

  • Advocate to internal management why the time is NOW to market these new opportunities;
  • Discuss tax implications to internal and external constituencies;
  • Discuss practical considerations of these donations;
  • Review the target donor market;
  • Discuss a number of open questions;

This new law has been pushed over a decade by both the National Association of Gift Planners (CGP) and the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA).  Editorial note:  When you wonder what value you get by joining these national organizations, this is major benefit #24… join both groups for their research, advocacy, conferences, networking and POLITICAL ACTION!!!  Laws defining DAFs, outright QCDs and NOW QCDs for life-income donations don’t just appear out of thin air.  They are a years-long result of tireless focused national efforts, lobbying (which costs money) and major time commitments by volunteers/staff.  I would pay dues for 30 years to both organizations (which I have by the way) for this one result alone so join or renew your memberships today! 

  1.  Keeping a donor happy is not enough… period. What do you want donors to actually do to achieve your mission? This no-holds-barred session deconstructs donor relations into each element and then provides best practices and new metrics. Attendees will learn:Why activity-based metrics are not very valuable.
  2. Why donor relations is more of a development position than development.
  3. How to recognize planning opportunities before it is too late.
  4. How, when and why you should be conducting a donor orientation.
  5. How you can be seen as a philanthropic advisor in 10 minutes.
  6. How to build annual goals that make sense and allow donor relations officers to express their own creativity.

At some point, every employer will have a natural disaster or terrorist event impact employees either domestically or abroad. Most of these employer responses follow a predictable pattern: employees/vendors want to give immediately after the event, the employer tries to determine how much to give as well, then the grant guidelines and parameters are discussed, grant applications are received and processed, and finally, grant funds are distributed. Within this straightforward approach are a large number of decision points that can quickly get sideways. Who will lead the effort internally and on the ground? What are the IRS or other regulatory guidelines and compliance measures that must be followed? Will this program be able to deal with the next disaster or will the company be caught flat-footed again? What about the employee who takes advantage of the program through fraud? Or an employee whose house burned but it was not part of the specific disaster? How are multi-national employees treated the same when the expenses and cultures are different?

  1. When a natural disaster or personal emergency occurs, employers and fellow employees want to help impacted peers. The response in the past was to “pass the hat” to help. Today, there are a number of tax-optimized and confidential methods of creating a more formalized global employee assistance program. This session will cover the following topics:Tax optimized ways to structure these funds for donations and grants
  2. Legal considerations of employer control
  3. Environmental scan of existing programs
  4. Best practices to increase contributions and grants
  5. Top five risk factors for program evaluation
  • There is no better way to leverage your philanthropy than by training and encouraging the next generation of givers. This session discusses the key elements of a successful family philanthropy program including:Definitions, vehicles and providers
  • Family goals and challenges
  • Key lessons learned
  • Key family philanthropy questions
  • Additional family philanthropy resources

Fixed immediate annuities are about as simple as it gets – an insurance company receives a premium in exchange for a guaranteed lifetime income. But this simple product has a number of innovative gift planning applications for charities and donors alike. Most importantly, immediate annuities can provide solutions for gift planning challenges where other products or vehicles may not. This presentation will first discuss and define annuities from a broader context, then the historical and current market for immediate annuities, followed by the math and investment assumptions and then how commercial annuities compare with charitable gift annuities. Finally, 10 case studies will be presented to illustrate how immediate annuities can provide solutions in unique charitable planning scenarios.

For many people, the “ask” is very intimidating. This session demystifies the important elements of a comfortable conversation. Specifically, we will cover why people are spending way too much time “getting ready to get ready”, the real tools and skills that are required for success and why absolutely zero technical knowledge is expected or required. Attendees will learn why they have been making this critical part overly complicated.

  1. This highly interactive session will cover the 26 most common gift planning challenges. Outsourced alternatives will be offered as a way to solve the problem or capture the gift for each scenario. Attendees will learn to be much more patient before declining a gift, and with the directory will have specific descriptions and contact information to seek assistance. There will be a practical discussion on the costs and benefits of internal acceptance as well as external options. Learning Objectives include:How to prospective gifts can be outsourced so that they aren’t declined
  2. How to implement a giving risk management continuum
  3. Attendees will have a resource directory for many of the most complicated, but common giving challenges
  • If most of planned gifts are received at the donor’s death, it is particularly important to know when that is likely to occur. This session will cover the various life expectancy tables used in planned giving, longevity risk generally and then will cover the CGA and CRT mortality studies more specifically. Most importantly, the implications and key findings of these studies will be highlighted so that attendees will be able to immediately make practical changes in administration, investments and illustrations. Attendees will gain a better understanding of:Longevity Risk: A Definition and Planned Giving Applications
  • Planned Giving Mortality Tables
  • Recent Mortality Studies: CGAs and CRTs
  • Investment vs. Longevity Risk
  • Longevity Implications
  • Exhaustion Frequency and Severity for CGAs and CRATs

As farmland and commodity prices rise, more agricultural gifts are being incorporated into charitable plans. This interactive session will cover all the charitable agricultural asset opportunities hidden in plain sight (or underground). Case studies will include donations of farm land, farm equipment, cattle, oil/gas interests, crops and business interests in farms.

Success in planning giving is simply saying the right thing to the right people at the right time. This interactive session will focus on the three-pronged approach to planned giving prospecting: The insiders (Board/Staff), the already sold (long-term loyal donors and volunteers) and the rest (everyone else). Bryan will give you the specific script and recipe to use with each of the three groups so that your marketing time is leveraged and productive.

Success in planning giving is simply saying the right thing to the right people at the right time. This interactive session will focus on the three-pronged approach to planned giving prospecting: The insiders (Board/Staff), the already sold (long-term loyal donors and volunteers) and the rest (everyone else). Bryan will give you the specific script and recipe to use with each of the three groups so that your marketing time is leveraged and productive.

Too many donors/advisors must choose between a community foundation-type fund (public foundation) and a family foundation (non-operating private foundation). In fact, it is estimated that over 1/3rd of private foundations and their donors also have funds at community foundations. This session will cover the top 10 symbiotic planning solutions that can be accomplished with an optimized partnership.

  1. A planned gift is considered the ultimate legacy donation – where what you are passionate about today will continue forever. But creating the plan isn’t necessarily the end of the journey. In this session, we will cover the current and trend data on planned gifts and then some practical ideas for attendees:How to communicate the gift with family members.
  2. How to involve family members with the gift, if appropriate, sooner rather than later.
  3. How to make sure the original intent of the gift is designed in the most impactful way today and forever.
  4. Best practices on communicating with the intended beneficiaries.
  5. To restrict or not to restrict… that is the question.

This session, in only one slide, will share how every single community foundation has received every single dollar from every single donor in the last 100 years. Board members will learn who the likely donors are, the ideal assets to use, the menu of fund types and, most importantly, why donors find community foundations so attractive. When someone is planning something or selling something, and they have charitable inclinations during life or at death, the community foundation can be his/her ideal partner. This session explains exactly why.


While the SECURE Act eliminated the "Stretch" IRA, for charitably inclined donors a testamentary charitable gift annuity can spread IRA distributions over a beneficiary's lifetimes and make a charitable gift. This session covers the tax, legal, financial and practical consideration of this innovative gift annuity application.

One year ago, you probably had never heard of Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), a Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) or a NonFungible Token (NFT).  Your donors/clients not only expect you to know what these vehicles are, but how they can be used for charitable giving. 

This session will provide a fuller description of each vehicle with a special emphasis on how they can be used for charitable giving.

Bryan frequently speaks to...

community foundations (including board members and donors), planned giving councils, estate and financial planning associations, CPAs and fundraising professionals. See list of satisfied clients/audiences.

Bryan’s memorable case studies and examples have created quite a buzz among our local advisor community, prompting professionals to take a fresh look at valuable non-cash assets their clients might tap to support their favorite charities. He makes it easy – even enjoyable! Certainly one of our most effective and entertaining educational sessions to date!

Kim Petersen

Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region

Bryan’s program for our local Bar Association fully engaged everyone and generated comments including, “excellent,” understandable,” “very interesting,” and “the time just flew by!” Referrals from these attorneys are integral to our organization’s success, so we were really pleased to offer them such useful information.

Margo Hirth

Community Foundation of Lorain County

Extremely valuable info – impressive to have a speaker of this caliber share his expertise.

Great speaker. Never a dull moment!

Very informative, fun presentation. Invite Bryan back.

Evaluation Forms

Multiple Presentation Attendees

Case studies were very helpful. I appreciate the use of simple terms and concepts.

One of the best presentations I’ve been to. It was informative and easy to understand.

Outstanding! Bryan is one of the best presenters I’ve ever observed – great mix of technical skills and profound style.

Evaluation Forms

Multiple Presentation Attendees