The Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) designation is sought out by many different professions including financial advisors. It consists of a series of self-study courses that teach concepts on charitable giving, legacy planning, and fundraising efforts for organizations.
T.J. Drost, vice president, institutional assets manager at Fragasso views the CAP® as an opportunity to become a better community leader. He recently completed the rigorous curriculum and six- hours of supervised testing to obtain his designation.
T.J.’s focus at Fragasso includes servicing nonprofit organizations and institutional clients. He provides ongoing management and monitoring of clients’ investment portfolios as well as helping our partners fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities. He leads our nonprofit investment team, and he works diligently to understand clients’ challenges with the goal of offering solutions that best fit their needs.
I asked T.J. a few questions about his experience with the CAP® designation:
Q. What were your primary reasons for pursuing the CAP® designation?
A. My role at the firm encompasses serving both our non-profit division as well as individual clients. Once I learned about the CAP® program, I was curious to see how I could learn more about marrying the subject of philanthropy within the two areas that I work in to see how I could meet the needs of both types of clients. My thought was to gain as much insight into the inner workings of non-profit organizations and understand what obstacles they face so that I could provide solutions that align with their goals. On the individual client side, I wanted to learn more about charitable giving strategies tailored to fit specific philanthropic goals.
Q. When should one consider working with a CAP®?
A. I’ll answer this from both the non-profit and individual client side. For non-profits, working with an advisor who has the skill set to understand different strategies and techniques to reach donors is a true asset. An advisor with the CAP® designation is able to do this and also be there to help collaborate with the organization on the best ways to invest and grow the assets for now and the future. For individual clients, a CAP® designee can assist by helping to ensure the needs and wishes of the philanthropic donor are met, from understanding the appropriate legal and estate planning tools necessary to pursuing the charitable giving goals of the wealthy to the variety of options available to them for giving.
In many cases, charitable giving brings families closer together as they share in the joy and love in supporting the organizations near and dear to them. In the end, it comes down to inspiring donors to make their priority that of focusing on giving from the heart to the foundations and charities they truly care about.
Q. What case-studies are reviewed during the courses?
A. The case studies are centered around individual clients and/or families with philanthropic intent. The facts given for each case provided a biography of the donor along with marital status, details on family dynamics, financial data, tax bracket information, and specifics pertaining to a charitable organization(s). As a student of the CAP® program, I was then tasked with dissecting the data provided and finding the appropriate solution for the donor’s needs. These cases were very complex and in many instances, it was a real asset for me to lean on the estate planning, insurance, and income tax techniques learned from obtaining my CFP® designation nearly a decade ago. The cases really tested what you had learned throughout the three modules and built upon each module as you progressed through the course.
Q. What are the prerequisites to earning the CAP®?
A. Candidates must have three years of full-time, relevant business experience within the five years preceding the certification. Relevant experience may include working in a nonprofit organization, serving on a nonprofit board, or volunteering.1
Q. What are the areas of focus in the CAP® courses?
A. 1. GS 839 Planning for Impact in Context of Family Wealth:
The focus of this course is on wealth in families and wealthy families in community with others. By the end of this course, the fundraiser and advisor should have the knowledge necessary to elicit client or donor goals for self, family, and society and to convene a team to achieve those goals now, later, at death or beyond death, through a financial plan, business exit plan, estate plan, or gift plan.
2. GS 849 Charitable Giving Strategies:
The focus of this course is on charitable tax strategies, tools, and techniques. By the end of this course, students will have the knowledge needed to open a client-specific or donor-specific conversation about the features and benefits of appropriate charitable tools. The student will then be able to convene a planning team, or in simpler cases, close for the gift.
3. GS 859 Gift Planning in a Nonprofit Context:
The focus of this course is on gift planning for nonprofits. By the end of this course, students should have the knowledge needed to apply the concepts and processes introduced in GS 839 and GS 849 to develop six to eight figure gifts for a specific nonprofit from its highest capacity donors.2
Q. What are the requirements for keeping the CAP® credential current?
A. Similar to other designations in the financial industry, the CAP® designee must obtain continuing education credits to maintain the designation. Thirty hours of continuing credits every two years is required, and this also includes 1 hour of ethics continuing education.
If you’d like to learn more on how a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy’s knowledge can help you or your organization’s financial goals, please contact us now through our web form or e-mail T.J. Drost at email@example.com.