- WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BENEFUNDER FOR MY PRACTICE?
- WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY A PORTFOLIO BASED APPROACH TO GIVING?
- WHY RESEARCH?
- CAN YOU GIVE ME SOME EXAMPLES OF THE RESEARCH THAT IS AVAILABLE FOR FUNDING?
- MY CLIENTS ALREADY KNOW WHAT ORGANIZATIONS THEY WANT TO GIVE TO AND DO SO EVERY YEAR. HOW CAN BENEFUNDER HELP THEM?
- CAN MY CLIENT MAKE A DIRECT DONATION TO A RESEARCHER WITHOUT SETTING UP A FUND?
- DO YOU HAVE MINIMUMS?
- HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO KEEP OVERHEAD SO LOW?
- CAN ANY RESEARCHER JOIN YOUR PLATFORM? HOW DO I KNOW MY CLIENTS’ MONEY IS GOING TO A VALID RESEARCH PROJECT?
- WHAT PREVENTS MY CLIENT FROM GIVING A DONATION DIRECTLY TO THE RESEARCHER WITHOUT GOING THROUGH BENEFUNDER?
- MY CLIENTS ALREADY HAVE DONOR ADVISED FUNDS? WHY WOULD THEY CONSIDER BENEFUNDER?
- A NUMBER OF MY CLIENTS HAVE PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS. HOW CAN BENEFUNDER WORK WITH THEM?
- MY CLIENTS ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT CAUSES THAT ARE NOT RESEARCH RELATED. WHY SHOULD THEY CONSIDER BENEFUNDER?
Benefunder is a philanthropic specialist that helps financial advisors grow their business through social impact. We accomplish this through our unique marketplace, which increases access, efficiency, and engagement for high net worth donors. Benefunder partners with third party donor advised funds to accomplish this mission. All accounts are managed by the client's financial advisor.
To accomplish our mission, Benefunder has created a new paradigm for philanthropy, allowing for donor-directed research funding at universities and research institutes across the U.S.
At the same time, we are addressing critical issues faced by donors:
DIRECTED GIVING - Benefunder provides donors with significant influence and say on how and where their donations are directed.
EFFICIENCY - Our structure allows for highly efficient giving by offering the lowest overhead and significantly reducing the cost of due diligence on where to give.
IMPACT - By directly funding research the donor is assured of maximum impact for every dollar they give. Our platform provides for direct feedback from researchers to donors on the status and progress of their work allowing the donor to see the results of their giving.
Importantly for advisors, we offer a unique solution that makes it easy to integrate philanthropy into your practice and provides a solution that allows you to keep assets under your management that typically leave each year for charity.
We provide -
unprecedented access to researchers
significantly reduced overhead
and allow researchers to update your client when they have a breakthrough or hit a milestone
In fact, we offer programs spanning healthcare, advanced technologies, the environment and arts/humanities (social sciences) research under contract on our platform representing top-tier universities cutting across all geographies.
The Benefunder Charitable Innovation Fund can help you in the key areas of your practice:
Retain and grow AUM!
Open the door for new opportunities with prospect clients
Add new value to client relationships
We do all the heavy lifting
Make the world a better place
Most clients make charitable contributions each year, usually deploying appreciated assets for maximum tax benefit. Some clients may already have assets sitting in private foundations, trusts, or other donor advised funds. When clients and prospects have liquidity events, there is almost inevitably a need for deductions. These are all examples that make great opportunities to open the dialogue about Benefunder. We help your clients maximize their impact with unprecedented access, reduced overhead, and increased engagement.
Our product specialists will support you every step of the way to help you seamlessly integrate philanthropy, utilizing Benefunder, into your practice.
Philanthropy is an integral part of wealth management and should be approached the same way as you would build an investment portfolio. Fully understanding a client’s philanthropic goals, passions, time frame, and risk tolerance is essential when recommending a portfolio of researchers and causes to which your client can donate.
A philanthropic asset allocation strategy with Benefunder will take into consideration things like category, type and stage of research as well as the individual researcher’s track record, potential fields the research might affect, and likely time frames for outcomes. Upon completing a donor profile for your client, Benefunder’s database of research is tagged and categorized by many factors, which enables us to produce highly relevant matches that relate to their profile.
Your Benefunder product specialist will be happy to share examples of research portfolios.
Since WWII, half of all wealth created in the U.S. can be directly attributed to university research. In fact many of the top publicly traded companies and technologies all started with a research grant (Google, IBM, Illumina, lasers, MRI, Internet).
This affects every area of our daily lives including health, security, economy, technology, gadgets, education, social shifts, and public policy.
Research is under tremendous funding pressure as funding has decreased, reducing sufficient levels necessary to maintain our current position as the world leader in innovation as well as in the future. The philanthropic sector provided $240B in funding in 2013, yet only 3% of that made its way to research, the category that produces the greatest ROI to our economy.
We have some of the very top researchers in areas of health and medicine, engineering and technology, the environment, and arts and humanities. We are confident that we have research available in just about any area in which your client may have an interest. We will work to find a match for them.
Some examples of the research currently on our platform are:
The leading research in the world on brain mapping, which will lead to cures and treatment for conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson's
Research on wearable technology, such as skin tattoos that monitor the health of premature babies, saving the lives of thousands of infants every year
Amazing work being done on foldable solar blankets enabling a more cost effective and practical way to increase the use of renewable energy
Research into the root causes of homelessness, which will help eliminate an escalating problem in our society
These are just a very few examples to give you an idea of the range of research available. Please visit our causes page to see more.
That’s actually not uncommon. We are finding that once a donor understands how Benefunder can complement their giving with increased impact, efficiency, and transparency they clearly see how Benefunder works “hand in glove” with their current charitable giving plan.
As part of our service, we perform a review of your clients' current giving. We then show how Benefunder fits into their current strategies and demonstrate how they can achieve greater impact with a higher degree of efficiency by adding Benefunder to their planned giving.
And importantly, our solution allows you to keep assets that typically leave each year for charity, in house and under your management until they are deployed.
Absolutely! If there is interest in a particular researcher or group of researchers, we can immediately deploy the donation to those individual causes. We would, however, recommend that your client set up a fund to take advantage of all the services that we provide.
For those clients looking to establish a donor advised fund or especially clients contemplating setting up a private foundation, Benefunder offers an excellent mechanism to do this very easily and inexpensively. We provide all the benefits of a private foundation at a fraction of the cost and without the headaches of governance.
Yes. For a direct donation, the minimum is $5,000. To set up a fund, the minimum is $25,000. For a self-directed fund, the minimum is $250,000. We also require that 15% of a donor's fund be distributed annually.
One of the major factors why we can keep overhead so low is working with advisors such as yourself. Other organizations spend upwards of 50% of donations on awareness and fundraising. This does not include the very high salaries paid to the fundraisers employed by the organization. By entering into a mutually beneficial partnership with financial advisors, we are able to keep our fundraising expenses and number of employees at a minimum, allowing your clients’ donations to have maximum impact on the research that they are most passionate about. In addition, unlike those traditional charities that conduct multiple programs for “funding research” such as patient or policy advocacy, professional education, and other fundraising events, Benefunder focuses solely on funding research programs, thus conserving overhead. We pass these savings on to the research programs with one of the lowest overheads in the charity industry.
We are selective regarding researchers who can be on our platform. First, we work with researchers only at top tier institutions. We also look closely at things such as awards and honors a researcher has been awarded, previous and current grants they have received, how many publications and the number of times a researcher has been cited, as well as other factors that will be an indicator that the researcher is in good standing. In any case, we always recommend that a donor give to a particular researcher over time and not all at once. This allows the donor to evaluate for themselves the effectiveness of the research through feedback and researcher engagement.
Nothing. But, it comes down to three things:
Having the time and access to find the researcher you wish to support with a donation
The time and effort it takes to work with the university to actually ensure your money goes to the researcher with a minimum of overhead
No mechanism to receive feedback or the ability to engage with the researcher
These are the reasons why donating directly to research is never top of mind for a donor. It also explains why less than 3% of $355 billion given each year to charity by individuals finds its way to research.
Benefunder’s sole mission is to get the maximum amount of donations to the researcher by working closely with universities and researchers to ensure efficiency, transparency, and access.
There are significant benefits for your client to designate Benefunder as a grantee from their existing Donor Advised Fund.
Service - Upon setting up a Benefunder Charitable Innovation Fund, we will provide a high level of personal service to match and align research to your client’s interests and current giving priorities.
Impact - By giving directly to research through Benefunder, the impact of your client’s donations is multiplied many times over. Benefunder’s low overhead structure combined with highly targeted giving provides for maximum impact of every dollar given.
Access - No matter what cause your client is passionate about, there is research going on in that focus area. Benefunder provides exclusive access to research taking place across all disciplines nationwide.
Engagement - Through the Benefunder platform, researchers provide continuous updates on their progress to donors. This allows each donor the ability to “follow” their money. In addition, in certain situations lab visits and events may be arranged where your client can meet the researchers and see firsthand the impact of their donations.
From an advisor perspective, if your client’s DAF is held away, Benefunder provides the perfect opportunity to bring those assets back under your management.
There are a number of advantages to creating a Benefunder Charitable Innovation Fund as a complementary charitable vehicle to an existing private foundation. Every situation is unique, but the following are some things to consider:
Continuation of historical support - Once a Benefunder Charitable Innovation Fund is established, a private foundation can rely on Benefunder’s staff and expertise to assist with grantee selection in those situations where the foundation may find itself without a board or is not knowledgeable about a cause it has historically supported due to generational turnover.
Giving outside a foundation's mission - There are a number of situations where a foundation can give outside its core mission. One example is that a foundation can create a Benefunder Charitable Innovation Fund to distribute the part of a foundation's funds that are designated for discretionary grants.
There is research being conducted in many diverse areas that has a direct impact on causes that many donors are passionate about. Historically, the problem has been access. Donors have not had a cost effective way to find relevant research that will, in many cases, be focused on the root issues of the cause they are interested in. While it is easy to see how giving might impact a cure for a disease or create a new prototype, your clients’ interests may include other areas where giving to research is less obvious. Here are some examples:
Homelessness: If your client gives to homeless shelters or other services for the homeless, they may want to consider donating to top researchers in the country who are studying and finding solutions to the root causes of homelessness. There is world class research being done in the areas of PTSD and behavioral and environmental causes that lead to problems such as homelessness.
Humanitarian Missions: Many people don’t realize that researchers also do "boots on the ground" work to solve some of the biggest humanitarian crises both at home and abroad. Examples include the Ebola epidemic and disaster ridden or impoverished areas. Usually this work involves treating affected populations and gaining knowledge about how to prevent or minimize damages in the future.
Supporting Entrepreneurship: There are numerous university programs that can be funded through Benefunder that support students who actually make investments in real companies to learn about entrepreneurship. A donation to these types of programs has direct impact on young people learning how to evaluate and start businesses.
Anti-Bullying: This is an example where, at very prestigious institutions, there is tremendous research taking place that a donor, more than likely, would never even think of as a destination for their charitable dollars. This is where you, as a trusted advisor, can bring significant value added service to your client, by introducing them to Benefunder, who then can propose relevant research that could have significant impact on a cause such as this.