Todd Anderson always knew he wanted to do work that helped people. He grew up in Boone, Iowa where he witnessed his parents’ service and charity. Though much of their giving was private, Todd believes their legacy of “giving back” is something he should continue. He strives to emulate them in his personal giving and in his career.
Today, Todd and his wife Lisa live in Cedar Rapids. Todd works as an attorney with Elderkin & Pirnie, PLC. He specializes in estate planning, probate, and trust law, and provides services related to businesses, guardianships, conservatorships and real estate transactions.
“This type of practice fits well with who I am,” he explains. “The opportunity to help people and to give them guidance and assistance is gratifying.”
Part of Todd’s work involves developing estate plans with clients. “Some clients are very comfortable discussing their charitable intent,” he says. “Most people, however, need some guidance.”
This guidance, Todd has found, is made easier with resources through the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. Todd often refers his clients to the team at the Community Foundation and trusts them to provide his clients with the information, options and guidance they need to consider when implementing their philanthropic goals.
“They come back from the Community Foundation with a very clear understanding of what’s going on, and there’s excitement in their eyes,” he describes. “They are excited about the options that are available to them, within their estate plan, to accomplish their charitable goals. Especially when it’s done on an endowed basis – it’s a gift that keeps on giving after they’re gone.”
As someone who cares deeply about his own family’s legacy, Todd has been especially interested to see how some of his clients choose to utilize donor-advised funds to preserve their charitable intentions and to engage the next generation. “I work with some parents who have already passed on the decision-making responsibility concerning their donor-advised funds to their children – so their children are carrying on their charitable intent,” he explains. “They have this philanthropy in their lives, and it’s neat to see how that legacy passes on.”
Todd appreciates that his profession allows him to serve as a counselor and a teacher, and he’s grateful to be doing that work in Cedar Rapids. “My wife and I have enjoyed watching Cedar Rapids grow and prosper over the last 30 years,” he says. “It’s been exciting to be here, and this is a community we cherish.”