When Craig and Ann Stinson were beginning their journey with philanthropy, they sought out others who inspired them and could help guide them in their efforts. Over the years, they have refined their giving priorities after years of exploration and discernment. As they have matured, they have learned to lean on the value of community in their giving.

“Everything is a gift from God, to be shared with others. Our faith guides us in where and how we give financially. As we get older, we prefer to give money in our local community where we can see the impact it is having,” shares Ann.

The Stinsons, who live in Rochester, Mich., have a Donor Advised Fund with the Catholic Foundation of Michigan. Now retired, Craig was a CEO of Breeze Industrial Products and adviser to Chicago private equity firm Wind Point Partners. They have felt very fortunate to have earned more than they need and have given generously as a result. They were introduced to the Catholic Foundation through Frank Migliazzo, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch and chair of the Foundation’s investment committee.

The Stinsons were looking for guidance in order to more closely align their philanthropy with their values, and at times, found it a struggle. “I was trying to research and do due diligence to ensure our giving matched our morals, and sometimes we missed things. Holding a fund at the Catholic Foundation gives us more comfort that we are doing what is our intent,” Ann reflects. The Stinsons previously held a Donor Advised Fund through Bank of America, but chose to move their fund because they saw the benefits in having more guidance and a local personal connection.

“The personal attention that we get from the Foundation is very meaningful. Angela is very responsive and informed, and she is an inspirational person,” Craig shares. “We recognize that having a fund at the Catholic Foundation helps support local charities where funds are most needed, including some ministries that we know personally. We feel good about that,” he continues. 

While fund fees at a bank may be less expensive than those at a community foundation, the services provided by the Catholic Foundation are much more comprehensive.

“The intrinsic value that we get by working through the Foundation brings a return that is hard to describe,” says Craig. “I don’t see it as a cost-benefit analysis. ‘Connectivity value’ is the metric we would use to describe it.” This “connectivity value” is what the Catholic Foundation is known for.

“The goal of the Foundation is to serve as a bridge between generous individuals/families and impactful ministries. We love when we help make new value-aligned connections,” says Angela Moloney, President and CEO of the Catholic Foundation.

The Catholic Foundation encourages you to set up an appointment to discuss your particular charitable intentions with a member of our professional staff. Together with your legal and financial advisors, we will work with you and your family to develop a successful and satisfying program for your faithful philanthropy, with more “connectivity value” than you’ll find with a fund at a bank. Contact us.

To those who are just getting started with charitable giving, the Stinsons offer the following advice. “Giving brings joy to the giver as well as those on the receiving end. Just starting the process is important, and reflecting on the joy that comes with being a part of the solution. Even if someone does not have a lot to give, just getting started helps to develop a mindset about giving, which can grow over time,” Craig shares.

The Donor Advised Fund Guide and Application are available to review here.