For Chris Casey, charitable giving is a deeply personal experience. For almost thirty years, Chris has been a financial advisor and an active supporter of several local nonprofits. When clients come to her looking for a way to give back, Chris turns to the Community Foundation—and her own experience as a philanthropist—to help them find their philanthropic passions.
Chris grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa, but Cedar Rapids is now very much her home. “It’s a great place to be, and when you love a community, you look for ways to give back,” Chris said. “I started out supporting organizations I knew, like the Public Library, Boy Scouts of America, and Waypoint.”
In 2021, after decades in the industry, Chris and several colleagues established their own asset management firm, Private Wealth. They envisioned a firm that was founded on relationships and invested in the local community and its people. It was a vision informed by Chris’ charitable perspective, and the group is excited to a part of the Cedar Rapids community.
Throughout her career, Chris has maintained a commitment to volunteer service, which provided her first glimpse into how the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits. When she was asked to join the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2020, she felt honored to be joining an organization focused on Linn County’s long-term success.
“Philanthropy is something that many people are interested in, but many people don’t know where to start,” Chris said. “The Community Foundation is great place to start. They have their finger on the pulse of the community, and they can work with the donor to establish and achieve their goals.”
For Chris and her clients, this personal, emotional aspect of giving always comes first. Once the donor has a goal in mind, Chris sets out to help build the road map—figuring out how to structure the gift and identifying tax advantages. Often, these conversations lead to the Community Foundation and donor-advised funds, or DAFs, which are flexible and easily personalized.
For many donors, a DAF allows for a simplified approach to charitable giving. They can take advantage of tax deductions and credits, including Endow Iowa, and they can support multiple causes and organizations with a single gift to their DAF.
Advisors like Chris turn to the Community Foundation for expertise on giving options like DAFs, but also to make sure that the whole process remains personal and fulfilling for the donors. Given the Community Foundation’s long history of supporting Linn County, Chris feels confident that her clients are going to the right place to build their legacy.
“This is an organization that can connect with you, and it’s going to be around for a while,” Chris said. “The Community Foundation will be around for your lifetime and for future generations.”