June 23, 2017

2017 is the 100th anniversary of the charitable deduction, but since the founding of the republic, Americans have been known for their generosity, a trait that continues to this day. Charitable giving reached a record $390 billion in 2016. What’s behind the surge? In the premiere episode of its 14th season, WEALTHTRACK focuses on strategies to maximizing charitable giving and what’s driving the record-breaking amounts.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1401; Originally Broadcast on June 23, 2017

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Consuelo Mack

It’s hard to believe but we are celebrating our thirteenth season of WEALTHTRACK on Public Television this week!  Our goal then and now is to help our viewers build long-term financial security, through disciplined, diversified investing, with advice from some of the top professionals in the business.

This premiere week of our new season we are taking a break from the markets and focusing on another investment that the great majority of American households make with dedication and passion every year, charitable gifts.

Americans are known for their generosity and charitable works. They were characteristics noted by French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville during his travels in America between 1831 and 1832. He described them in his instant best seller, Democracy in America, his analysis of the nature of the new republic and its citizens:

Americans group together to hold fetes, found seminaries, build inns, construct churches, distribute books, dispatch missionaries to the antipodes. They establish hospitals, prisons, schools by the same method. Finally, if they wish to highlight a truth or develop an opinion by the encouragement of a great example, they form an association”.

Americans were more generous than ever last year, donating $390 billion to their favorite causes and associations. As usual individuals contributed the bulk of it, nearly $300 billion or three quarters of the total. And they increased their donations by nearly 4%, the largest single contributor to the overall growth in giving.

Religious organizations continued to be the major beneficiaries, getting 32% of the total charity pot.  Education was half that at 15%, and for only the 6thtime in 40 years all nine major philanthropy subsectors realized giving increases.  For the second year in a row charities involved in environmental and animal causes experienced the fastest growth in donations, up 7.2% to more than $11 billion.

Where to give can be a daunting decision.  There are 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the U.S. A million of those are public charities and nearly 400 thousand are other types of tax-exempt organizations – associations such as Chambers of Commerce, fraternal organizations and Civic Leagues.

How do you decide where to give? How do you know the charities you support are effective and trustworthy? How do you maximize your charitable deductions? That’s where this week’s WEALTHTRACK guests can help!

We’ll be joined by Elda Di Re, a Private Client Services Leader in EY’s National Tax Department, with a focus on servicing the personal tax and financial planning needs of ultra-high net worth individuals.  But she promises she can also bring it down to a lower income level. Among her many specialties is charitable planning.

Pamela Norley is the President of Fidelity Charitable, the oldest and largest national donor-advised fund in the country.  It is second only to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in grantmaking.  Established in 1991 by investment giant Fidelity, Fidelity Charitable is a completely independent public charity whose mission is to make charitable giving “simple, effective and accessible”. Since its launch it has helped its more than 130,000 donor-advised accounts- it calls them giving accounts – support more than 235,000 different charities with more than $22 billion in grants.

We’ll discuss what’s driving the record-breaking amounts of philanthropic giving and Di Re and Norley will share their advice on how we can maximize our own charitable efforts.

If you miss the premiere show of our new season on air this week, you can always watch it on our website.  It’s available to our PREMIUM viewers right now and to everyone else over the weekend. We also have EXTRA interviews with Elda Di Re and Pamela Norley on their career choices, available exclusively online.

Also, if you’re looking to take WEALTHTRACK with you on your commute or travels, you can now find theWEALTHTRACK podcast on TuneIn, Stitcher, and SoundCloud, as well as iTunes. Find out more on the WEALTHTRACK Podcast page.

Thank you so much for watching. Have a great weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,

Mathews Asia


Donor-Advised Fund Advantages

  • Take immediate tax deduction
  • Take time identifying where and when the money is given
  • Simplify record keeping
  • Make it easier to give in small and frequent amounts
  • Vet charitable organizations
  • Appraise and liquidate hard to give assets including real estate and art

No Bookshelf titles this week.


  • Include philanthropy in your long-term financial plan


  • Identify assets with the highest percentage of appreciation
  • Use to fund your donor-advised fund or foundation
  • Tax deduction for fair market value
  • No taxes on gain
Stock mentions available soon. No stock mentions in this episode. WEALTHTRACK PREMIUM subscribers can access your copy here, otherwise this transcript is available here for purchase.

More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

This is the first appearance of these guests on WEALTHTRACK.


Pamela Norley has been President of independent public charity, Fidelity Charitable, the largest donor-advised fund in the country since 2016. Prior to that, she worked in the for-profit sector. She is thrilled she made the transition.


EY’s Elda Di Re advises ultra- high net worth individuals, such as Forbes 400 executives, on their total financial planning including tax and charitable strategies. She gladly made the switch from CPA to an advisor to billionaires.

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