Interviews with Professional Advisors

In conversations with MaineCF staff, professional advisors share stories and advice related to helping clients learn about the benefits of charitable giving.

Christian Barner: Recognizing Charitable Awareness

For estate planner Christian Barner, responsibility plays a significant role in charitable giving. "The most satisfying gifts begin with 'true charitable intent,'" he says. Barner also believes it takes teamwork to create a legacy ... more

Connie Bingham: “Start With the Client, Not the Bag of Tricks”

Accountants can play a significant role in a client’s charitable planning, says Connie Bingham, tax director at Macdonald Page & Co., LLC. She emphasizes the importance of being client-centered and endorses donor-advised funds ... more

Brenda Buchanan: Community, Equity, and a New Frontier

An advisor to the community foundation's Equity Fund, Brenda Buchanan thinks a lot about the needs of Maine's LGBTQ community. Here, she discusses a recent program the Equity Fund sponsored to help professional advisors better understand issues faced by those in same-sex partnerships ... more

Nathan “Pete” Dane: A Partnership Fulfills a Client’s Dream

In his current work with Rudman & Winchell and previous solo practice, estate and trusts attorney Nathan “Pete” Dane has worked with the Maine Community Foundation to help clients make the most of their charitable visions ... more

Joel Davis: “Incite and Enhance” Philanthropy

Joel Davis likes to encourage his colleagues to talk about philanthropy with their clients. A popular speaker on a variety of estate planning topics, Davis discusses the important role a financial advisor may play in bringing out the philanthropic passion in his or her clients ... more

Peter Dufour: Making the Most of Your Assets

Portland-based tax attorney and CPA Peter Dufour considers the benefits of a donor-advised fund versus a private foundation, including being able to involve family members in the decision-making... more

Richard Engels: Helping Clients Keep It Local

Presque Isle attorney and former Aroostook County Committee member Richard Engels has seen how the Maine Community Foundation can help both charitable individuals and nonprofit organizations ... more

Martha “Meg” Greene: The Power and Joy of Giving

Through her work with several philanthropic organizations, Martha “Meg” Greene, a trust and estate lawyer, has come to appreciate the power of philanthropy. She offers insights on how to work with clients to maximize the potential of their charitable passions ... more

Brian Hamel: Coaching Clients

Brian Hamel explains how connecting with people in his community, including a team of Special Olympians, inspires him and other donors to give back ... more

Jeffrey Jones: Gifts That Keep On Giving

When Jeffrey Jones, an attorney specializing in trusts, estates and probate law, talks to clients about charitable giving, he encourages them to consider charitable giving independently, not just for tax reasons ... more

Richard Leblanc: Our First Job Is to Listen

We see our role first and foremost as listening carefully and picking up words, phrases, body language; we draw out with our questions what is really important to our client ... more

Leigh Stephens McCarthy: The Importance of Knowing What’s Possible

The more an estate planning attorney can encourage clients to talk about their dreams and what sort of legacy they’d like to leave ... more

Mary McQuillen: A Foundation of One’s Own?

In her law practice Mary McQuillen represents a number of private foundations. As she pointed out in a a recent interview, a donor-advised fund is sometimes an excellent alternative to a private foundation ... more

Sally Mills: A Partnership With Reach

One of the most satisfying parts of Ellsworth estate attorney Sally Mills’ work is helping charitable individuals who have relocated to Maine find ways to apply their philanthropic passions in their new home ... more

Amanda Rand: Helping Clients Focus on the Fun Part

The community foundation takes care of the administrative work, which allows clients to focus their efforts on the fun part: giving money away ... more

Jennifer Richard: Use Your Ears First

Jennifer Richard, director of gift planning at the Maine Community Foundation, shares her insights from two decades as a trusts and estates attorney ... more

Donna Ryan: Discovering What Might Be

The Charitable Remainder Trust can solve a lot of problems all at once. It provides an income stream to the donor; it helps to diversify assets with a current tax cost; and it fulfills some great charitable intentions ... more

J.B. Sullivan: Keeping the Conversation Going

As a principal at Portland Global Advisors, J.B. Sullivan is aware of the importance of listening to his clients -- and recognizing that the conversation around philanthropy is often long-term ... more

Dick Trafton: Leadership Should Promote Involvement

Drawing on his experience as a civic leader, Auburn lawyer Richard Trafton shares his thoughts on leadership and also talks about balancing the life of a lawyer with public service ... more

Barbara Wheaton: Philanthropy and Estate Planning for All

Attorney Barbara Wheaton has been practicing in the area of estate planning for more than 17 years. In a recent interview, she offered some of her insights about the connections between estate planning and philanthropy ... more

Joe Wishcamper: Turning Real Estate Into Charitable Assets

The Wishcampers considered several options for funding their donor-advised fund. They decided on gifts of real estate, which provided them with a tax deduction in the year they needed it and enabled them to make a large number of grants to nonprofits through their fund. ... more