In this episode, we're sitting down with OCCF Vice President of Development Joe Carter, Kendall King with Castle Point Wealth Advisors and Kendra Robben with Robben Law to discuss the significant role professional advisors play at the Community Foundation and what this means for donors.
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Dan Martel 0:30
Hello, I'm Dan Martel and welcome back to Creating Impact Through Giving. Last month, you heard a lively discussion with Trisha Finnegan, the new President and CEO of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation on what the Foundation is and how it works to benefit the entire community. Today, we're going to be talking about the role of a professional advisor and how vital they are to the growth of the Community Foundation. A professional advisor helps their clients with their estate and charitable planning goals and objectives. Oftentimes, they are financial professionals, attorneys, or accountants, and Joe Carter, the Vice President of Development with the Community Foundation has worked with many of these professional advisors throughout his years. He's going to talk to us today about how important their role is to our whole community. In addition to Joe, we're going to have two professional advisors on the program today, Kendall King and Kendra Robben. Kendall is the founder and CEO of Castlepoint Wealth Advisors. With 20 years of experience in advising clients on a wide range of wealth management topics, Kendall possesses extensive expertise and specialized knowledge regarding entrepreneurial strategies and family wealth transfer topics. Kendra Robben is an estate planning and corporate law attorney licensed to practice in both Oklahoma and Kansas. She established Robben Law back in November of 2009 and represents clients in all aspects of estate planning including wills, trusts, power of attorney and living wills. Let's bring in Joe Carter. Joe, welcome back to Creating Impact Through Giving.
Joe Carter 1:58
Thank you, Dan.
Dan Martel 1:59
Joe, you've been working with professional advisors on behalf of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation for several years now. Let's just jump in and talk about the role that they play.
Joe Carter 2:06
So, advisors play an extremely important role to the Community Foundation. We're not a traditional fundraising shop. I would say our definition of development is more developing relationships. Most of our time is spent developing those relationships with the CPA, with attorneys, with financial advisors, trust officers, anybody that has face-to-face meetings with clients that may have charitable intentions. Very, very important in our work here.
Dan Martel 2:35
Where do you guys find folks like this throughout the community? How do you build these relationships?
Joe Carter 2:40
Well, back in the day as we say, that was me out on the streets knocking on doors. That was 19 years ago. This was a position that the Foundation had not had. When I came in that literally was my job, to go out and beat the streets. I don't have the luxury of just getting out and doing that any longer. Now it's kind of a referral from advisor to advisor. However, as the Foundation has grown in both size and number of donors and types of funds, so has our demographic reach. While it's Oklahoma City Community Foundation, we're really servicing donors across the state of Oklahoma and in some cases outside the border. We've added additional staff that their responsibility is actually to go out and be on the borders of Oklahoma County or the six surrounding counties that make up our service area.
Dan Martel 3:35
Makes sense. Makes sense. Let me ask this, Joe, in terms of establishing these donor gifts, what is the percentage of gifts that result from your relationships with these professional advisors?
Joe Carter 3:46
I would say, I mean, I'm not putting the name or the number to it yet, but I would say that at least 80, if not more percent of the funds that come here on an annual basis come from a referral from an advisor.
Dan Martel 4:00
All right. They do play an incredibly important role here at the Community Foundation.
Joe Carter 4:04
Extremely important role, yes.
Dan Martel 4:06
What are some of the questions that you all have to answer when you're contacted, let's say by a professional advisor or one of their clients, what kind of questions are they asking you?
Joe Carter 4:14
Well, first, so many people are not familiar with OCCF. Part of that is because we're not a fundraising organization. We're really what we consider a tool in that advisor's kit. With that being said, they know they have the hammer and the nail and all that, but sometimes, from their vantage point, they're experts in the law, they're experts in financial, they're experts in accounting. They rely on us to be experts in philanthropy. Really the introduction is key number one because hopefully, their advisor has instilled confidence that they know what they're talking about. Then when they refer OCCF to them, there's just another layer of confidence that's built into that client, to begin with.
Then the second thing when they call us because they haven't often heard of us outside of their advisory relationships, it really becomes well, what type of funds are there? Is it scholarships? We don't even know what a donor advised fund is. Our advisor told us, Hey, here's a way to get a charitable deduction today and leave a legacy tomorrow. Yet we're so much more than that. It's helpful for us to get down in the weeds then after we've had that introductory conversation.
Dan Martel 5:26
Absolutely. Well, to me, that comes with, goes back to sort of what we've talked about in the past too, Joe, is just what the OCCF can offer people. Somebody's sitting on the fence right now going, gosh, I'm going to choose the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, or I'm going to choose another entity. What's the one big advantage that you can offer that person that's sort of on the fence?
Joe Carter 5:47
Well, I think the biggest thing is number one, our resource center here. From the experience of our staff, to knowing the community as a whole, as far as where are the charitable needs that need to be addressed right now. Whether that's a big cause area like homelessness or whether that's something very small, like an individual charity helping veterans, or you know, a no kill shelter, something of that nature. We really try to embrace what that donor is trying to accomplish and then identify places. Some of the larger shops that offer donor advised funds, whether it's commercial or other areas, they're just not as familiar with Oklahoma City community.
Dan Martel 6:28
Absolutely. Are there any tools that you all supply these advisors with in order to get their clients to decide where to help put their charitable dollars?
Joe Carter 6:38
Well, I think there's been obviously over a 19-year period here, you understand how to go out and knock on a door but you evolve over time. One of the things that I've taken great pride in is, over the last 20 years or so, there weren't a lot of professional advisors actually bridging the topic of charitable giving. Whether it be in an estate plan or financial plan or something of that nature. Through our work here, we've really tried to help them understand not the value of charitable giving, but maybe how to introduce charitable giving to their clients. It's really all about how the conversation comes up and then navigating the water, so to speak. I think our professional advisor community here is much more equipped today to have those conversations than maybe they were 20 years ago.
Dan Martel 7:25
Outstanding. Thinking back over your 19-plus year career with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation has there been a gift that has come in through that that was almost a jaw-dropping situation like, wow!
Joe Carter 7:39
Well, it's interesting because they may have brought our name up and referred it to somebody and said, come here direct. In a couple of cases, the conversation probably started with an advisor, and we were the tail end of that. But I would say one that we've worked on, which is jaw-dropping. It's probably an estate that will be in excess of $85 million when it comes in. We've been fortunate enough to have a lot of conversations with that particular donor and his family and how they create impactful giving over multiple generations. You never know when somebody comes in, that's the beauty of this place. There's a lot of millionaires next door that come into us. I would say there are many people that see somebody parked out here in their old ‘75 station wagon wanting to know why would that car possibly be here. Then when they see them walk in, they're like they're rags to riches. What have we got working here? But at the end of the day, that's a client that maybe had ample means, but at the end of the day, they felt the need to make an impact back on society that had given them ever how much they have been blessed to receive.
Dan Martel 8:44
Well, Joe, I know that you and your entire team have done so much for the Community Foundation helping a lot of people out in the community create an impact. That's really what we're talking about on this particular podcast. Thanks for your expertise today. We're looking forward to speaking with a couple of the professional advisors that you work with. We appreciate you being here. Always great to have you. Before I let you go, what's the best way to reach Joe Carter and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation,
Joe Carter 9:12
(405) 235-5603 ask for Joe or anybody on our development team.
Dan Martel 9:20
Sounds great, Joe. Thanks again for being here today.
Joe Carter 9:22
You bet. Thank you.
Dan Martel 9:25
Up next, we welcome Kendall King to the podcast. Kendall, again, is the Founder and CEO of Castlepoint Wealth Advisors. Kendall welcome. We are glad to have you on the program.
Kendall King 9:34
Glad to be here. Thanks for having me.
Dan Martel 9:35
You bet. Kendall, tell us a little bit about the work that you do. Why did you decide that this was an area you were interested in?
Kendall King 9:42
Sure. I've been doing this a little bit over 20 years been in the investment, advisory and financial planning space. At Castlepoint Wealth, we are an independent wealth management firm and we work with a little over 200 individuals and we help them mostly on the investment advice side, but then we work with them on all the areas around there that are tied in; the tax planning, the estate planning, charitable gifting.
Dan Martel 10:06
So, one of the things we've been talking about today is how the Oklahoma City Community Foundation works with professional advisors and donors and things like that. How often are you able to refer clients to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and why OCCF?
Kendall King 10:22
Yeah, that's great. I've had a relationship with Joe Carter and his team for a period of years. There's been a lot of situations where the client wasn't quite ready, but Joe was still there to kind of talk me through it. I think some of those clients we'll eventually get to, but we were able to work on something last year and it was a really good opportunity together. I have a lot of confidence in what he does. He's always there to answer the questions that I don't know, which are a lot. I've been doing this over 20 years. One of the things I've learned is how much I don't know. Having someone like Joe and everyone at OCCF just gives you a high comfort level. The other thing I really like about OCCF and Joe is they make it all about the client. There's not this, “Hey, how do we make this good for Joe or anyone here?” It's all about the client. Our advisory firm feels it's the same way. We're very aligned with how OCCF serves their clients.
Dan Martel 11:16
Well, I know it's one of the selling points at the Community Foundation. When you get on the phone, you're actually talking to somebody that's local and understands what the clients are going through. I appreciate that. Obviously, that's one of the advantages. What are some of the questions that you usually get from clients when you suggest, “Hey, I'm going to have you reach out to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation”? What are the questions that they usually ask you?
Kendall King 11:39
Yeah, a lot of the questions revolve around where do I start if I want to make an impact. Some of the questions revolve around partially the type of impact they want to make on who, or what type of group of people they want to make an impact on. Then inevitably you have the tax planning component. It ends up being one of those factors. It usually leads to a conversation. I think too, the fourth one I bring up is the types of gifts that they could make. That's one that I found Joe to especially be a great resource on. I think a lot of times people are surprised at some of the types of assets they can give that they didn't know beforehand.
Dan Martel 12:18
Which is absolutely true. I mean, yeah, the Community Foundation does get a lot of interesting requests for certain assets. I want to talk a little bit about this book you wrote called Abundance, right? Is that correct? Abundance, Your Path Starts Here. Tell us about the book. Why did you write it and give us a little insight as to what it's about?
Kendall King 12:34
You bet. Yes. Thanks for asking that question. Initially, I had a goal to write a book and as I was going through that process, I realized I want this book to have some impact on people outside of the clients that we get to work on. We, unfortunately, only can work with a limited number of clients. One of the objectives of the book was how can I help people on a more broad basis understand how they can create a little more abundance for their life. The word abundance usually refers to having a lot of money, but in this case, we really were focused more on the term as financial abundance being one piece of it, but it was just one piece and there's a lot of other pieces. I think abundance has always been the theme word for our firm. Our mission is to help people live more abundant lives. I thought, why not try to write a book and see if I can help a few more people?
Dan Martel 13:27
Outstanding. Where can you get the book?
Kendall King 13:29
You can get the book if you go to Amazon actually. If you search Kendall King and Abundance, it should pop up there.
Dan Martel 13:36
All right, well, you just heard it Abundance, Your Path Starts Here by Kendall King, that is available on Amazon. Pick it up if you're interested in learning how to live a more abundant life, which is their mission, which is outstanding. Joe Carter and his team are very experienced with setting up funds for donors. You've just talked a little bit about how it's been working with his team and some of the advantages. What's the best way for folks to reach you. If they have any questions that they want to field before you introduce them to somebody like the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, how do they reach you?
Kendall King 14:07
Yeah, absolutely. They could reach us at www.castlepointwealth.com. Castlepoint with no 'E' at the end, wealth.com. That's the best way to probably get more information on us and contact us. But I also say that I have no hesitation and tell people to go directly to Joe. I think that's the great thing about Joe, and the same with us. We don't worry about someone getting on our turf or anything. We have no hesitation to say, “Hey, go straight to Joe.” But, if they're one of our clients, we love being a part of those conversations. Like I said, I learn so much every time I'm around Joe and that's always a great experience for us.
Dan Martel 14:41
Well, I think that's excellent, Kendall. Thank you so much for that too. I'm sure Joe is very appreciative of any kind of referral that you can throw over to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Kendall, thanks for being part of the program today. We appreciate you sharing a little bit about the work you do, particularly with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. I know the Foundation is grateful to have you as a partner when it comes to helping clients and when it comes to dealing with financial planning, thanks so much for being here.
Kendall King 15:05
I enjoyed it. Thanks for having me.
Dan Martel 15:07
You bet. Now I want to bring in Kendra Robben. Kendra is an estate planning and corporate law attorney. Kendra represents clients in all aspects of estate planning. Kendra, welcome to Creating Impact Through Giving.
Kendra Robben 15:19
I am so happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
Dan Martel 15:22
We appreciate you being with us today. Let's just jump right in. Tell us about the type of work you do with Robben Law, which is obviously a firm you started back in 2009. Give us a little insight as to what you all do there.
Kendra Robben 15:34
Perfect. We do all aspects of estate planning, which is generally transitioning wealth from one generation to the next and planning for incapacity of any sort if someone is incapacitated or passes away. Then we also do a lot of corporate transactional work, so contracts, any sorts of business agreements, non-litigated matters that would be business negotiation type matters.
Dan Martel 16:00
Excellent. What about the clients? I want to talk a little bit about some of the clients that you see and some of the things that they do want to leave behind when it comes to their legacy. When do they normally come to see you and start this discussion?
Kendra Robben 16:14
Well, it's a range. Lots of people come in lots of different stages. We see some people that come early, like when they have young children and they're worried about guardianship and potential passing of that, but we see lots of people when they come to retirement age and beginning to start thinking about the legacy that they're going to leave. A lot of people when they're transitioning out of full-time work, looking at retirement in that realm of trying to figure out what does their legacy look like and planning for the future in that way.
Dan Martel 16:42
Fantastic. When it comes to referring clients to the Foundation, this is where Joe and his team come in. How familiar are folks with the OCCF and what types of questions do they normally have?
Kendra Robben 16:53
So, a lot of times in my meetings, they're not really that familiar with OCCF in general, but they know that they have some idea that they potentially want to do something charitable, but they have no concept of how that could work or what that would look like, and they're looking to me for some guidance and some suggestions. A lot of times it's introducing them to the fact that OCCF it's much simpler than they might imagine that it would be in order to have an impact on their charitable giving. It's much more possible for them to kind of dip their toe in the water you might say to do something small during life, setting up for something larger in their estate planning documents.
A lot of times those conversations start either with me saying something about, do you have charitable intentions, is that part of your legacy planning? Or them mentioning something about the fact that they don't know how to accomplish those charitable goals? Then we're able to have a really helpful discussion for a lot of people about the options that OCCF provides, the different tranches of doing scholarships, doing donor advised funds and put those two pieces together.
Dan Martel 18:05
What are some of the advantages that you find working with the Community Foundation, Joe Carter in particular and his team? He's got an incredible team with the OCCF, versus perhaps another type of organization.
Kendra Robben 18:17
Well, mostly I find with OCCF and Joe in particular, that he is willing to spend whatever amount of time it takes with my clients, even if they just want to leave a little money to a cat charity that their neighbor had at one point. He's willing to spend enough time with all of them to make them feel comfortable and understand what the process is. Which is, I think, a special feature of OCCF. I also think OCCF's donor portal makes it really easy for people to understand and see their account, understand how they can give grants. Just the support that the team has here to really wrap around them is really helpful.
Dan Martel 18:55
You know one of the things that Joe reminded us of some time ago, and it really stuck with me too is, you don't have to be a wealthy person to create an impact. To his point whether you're a $25 donor or a $25 million donor, anybody can create an impact. That being said, Kendra, not everybody has to be wealthy when it comes to estate planning. What are some of the parameters when it comes to talking to folks about this?
Kendra Robben 19:20
Really the parameters are that you have some sort of charitable intent or some sort of intent to distribute your wealth in a way that benefits others outside of just direct lineal descendants in your family. Sometimes that means just, I want to continue to support my church in the way that I have continued to support them during life. Sometimes that means I really want to leave a lasting large gift for something. Sometimes that means I want to instill a love of charitable giving in my children the same way that I have it, and so I want to set up some sort of a fund that's going to have annual grant giving capabilities and I want to use that as a tool to get my children interested in charitable giving in the way that I feel passionate about it.
Dan Martel 20:04
Outstanding. Well, I know that Joe and his team are very experienced when it comes to establishing funds for donors as you were just talking about. Why is experience so important when it comes to taking care of a donor's legacy?
Kendra Robben 20:19
In my experience, it really matters because a lot of people don't know what they want to do. Having someone with experience that can give examples of different things that have worked for other people in the past really gives people a comfort to take that leap and make the gift, or take that leap and set up the charitable endowment planning after their death. It really helps them to hear the stories of other people that are in similar situations, and it helps give them a comfort level with it that just doesn't come with other groups that don't have the kind of experience that Joe and the team bring here.
Dan Martel 20:52
That's good to know. Kendra, thanks for being with us today and sharing your knowledge with our listeners. There's a lot of work that goes into helping clients plan for their future. We all know that to be true. Whether it's establishing a trust or getting them to complete a will, let's talk a little bit about how people can get in touch with you. What's the best way for folks to find out about Robben Law?
Kendra Robben 21:11
Well, visiting our website is probably the best way to just get basic information and get our contact information. it's www.robbenlaw.com, which is my last name, R-O-B-B-E-N-LAW.com. That's probably the best way and quickest way to get in touch with us.
Dan Martel 21:29
All right, thanks again, Kendra. It was a pleasure having you on the podcast today. We appreciate and hope to have you back.
Kendra Robben 21:34
Thanks for having me.
Dan Martel 21:38
Well, that wraps up another episode of Creating Impact Through Giving. We certainly hope you found today's topic interesting. If you have any questions on what to do when it comes to your estate planning, you heard from two of the area’s most experienced professionals. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has strong relationships with many professional advisors throughout the community. If you're looking for a way to create your own impact, the Community Foundation has a team of experienced professionals that can help you get started.
Join us again next month, when we will talk about the role the Community Foundation plays in rural Oklahoma. The Foundation has footprints that extend all over the state. This should be another lively discussion and a very interesting topic. I want to thank our guests today, Joe Carter, with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, Kendall King of Castlepoint Wealth Advisors and Kendra Robben with Robben Law. I hope everybody's having a great week and we'll see you next time.