Sunday, December 13, 2009

Featured in Inc as "Saving the World"

Really nice--and unexpected--mention in this Inc Magazine article. They point out the 20% donation by Mission Research founders; I gave 30%, the others gave 10%, for a combined 20%; all of us gave  much more than usual.

We did this by donating stock to a donor-advised fund in a foundation. At some point the donation will be liquid, and at that point I expect we will start making grants. But that liquidity is currently unforeseen.

The rationale behind giving early is this: 30% of what? You have no idea. It's a lot easier to give a significant percentage early on when there's no known future value. It also makes you focus on making the 70% you have left get to your personal wealth target. Your investors will like that, because it means you're driven to push the outcome higher, which benefits everyone.

But the one thing I would change is this: don't execute the donation until later so you can get the benefit of a bigger tax writeoff.  Instead, place the stock in escrow with an agreement to make the donation at a later date or event.