Professional Advisor Dick George sees value in Community Foundation giving
Dick George, CPA and Tax Director at McGladrey LLP in Cedar Rapids has worked as a professional advisor for several decades.
He got his start with McGladrey in the 1980s, after attending the University of Iowa for his undergraduate degree and law school. For the past 14 years in particular, George has worked with high net worth individuals and families to create their ideal financial plans.
In many cases, he has partnered with the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to help his clients realize their financial wishes. “The Community Foundation has grown so much in the last 20 to 30 years and will continue to be a bigger and bigger part of the community.”
Perhaps one of George’s most memorable Community Foundation/client partnerships was working with William B. Quarton, a long-time McGladrey client and notable Community Foundation supporter. George first began working with Mr. Quarton in the mid-90s as part of a team of advisors to make his legacy gifts through the Community Foundation.
“Bill was already in his nineties when I started working with him,” recalls George. “He knew what he wanted to do charitably.” George recalls Mr. Quarton making use of the Endow Iowa tax credits early on. “That was a really fun and neat experience. Today if you aren’t talking to your clients about Endow Iowa Tax Credits, you aren’t doing your job.”
Another memorable client for George was working with Carl and Mary Koehler to send gifts to the Community Fund between 1994 and 2010. George noted the Koehlers weren’t originally from Cedar Rapids. In fact they spent most of their adult life in California where they invested in real estate. Upon deciding to retire to Cedar Rapids, the Koehler’s connected with George to fulfill their charitable plans. “They were smart, thorough, and they knew what they wanted to do,” he says of their meeting. “The Koehlers had it all lined up.”
George was particular struck by the fact that the Koehlers wanted to make substantial charitable gifts in the area but didn’t live in Cedar Rapids until they were in their seventies. “They ended up leaving millions of dollars to this community,” he said. “They adopted Cedar Rapids.”
For both clients, George says the Community Foundation appealed to them as a giving option because of the flexibility. “They knew that through the Community Foundation their gifts were going to be there for a long time and that the Community Foundation would oversee their charitable wishes long after they were gone.”
George notes that it’s particularly interesting to consider that either of these clients had the type of wealth and charitable inclinations that could have allowed them to set up their own private foundations. But, he says, they knew that working with the Community Foundation would allow them to avoid the up-front cost of setting up the foundation and the annual reporting that would be required.
“The Community Foundation plays a facilitative role and can help you think about how you want to carry out your charitable giving,” says George. “These clients both had a clear idea of what they wanted to do and what they wanted their legacy to be.”
Today, the Community Foundation is proud to continue to play a role in the Quarton and Koehler legacies.