2019 Community Impact Awards, Pro Bono: Laird Norton Wealth Management

Even after 50 years in business, this company has still increased its philanthropy within the past two years
GUIDING HAND: Laird Norton Wealth Management managing directors, from left, Jeanne Goussev, Kristi Mathisen and Erin Moyer.

This article appears in print in the November 2019 issue. See more about the winners of the 2019 Community Impact Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

Laird Norton Wealth Management

Laird Norton Wealth Management has been heavily involved with nonprofit organizations since its founding in 1967, but it really ramped up its philanthropy the past two-and-a-half years.

In 2017, it began a partnership with the Seattle Symphony to educate donors, offering educational seminars on planned giving, trusts, estates and other financial planning topics critical to furthering the symphony’s long-term strength and stability.

In 2018, a new need emerged. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created uncertainty, confusion and concern for nonprofits that rely on donations to make their missions reality. Some experts estimated a decrease of up to $19 billion in charitable giving per year.

Since then, Laird Norton Wealth Management employees have dedicated 400 hours working with nearly a dozen nonprofit organizations to educate or create new giving and financial strategies. The approach has empowered Laird Norton employees to become more involved with nonprofit organizations throughout the Puget Sound region.

“[They’re] generous with time, exhaustive in [their] insights and skilled at making complicated tax issues easy to understand with [a] direct and accessible style,” says Becky Kowals, director of major gifts and planned giving at the Seattle Symphony.

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