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FINANCIAL SERVICES: Intelligent giving (free online courses take donor education to a new level

By Chris Cravens, Coffee Financial


Where will your donation have the biggest impact? These days you don’t have to hobnob with the elite to get advice from famous philanthropists on this issue – all you need is Internet access. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) in philanthropy, like one that was offered this spring featuring the advice of Warren Buffett, are creating a community of more educated and more effective donors.

Last summer Buffett and his sister, Doris Buffett, made headlines with the first philanthropy MOOC, Giving with Purpose. During the six class course, the siblings offered students the chance to distribute $130,000 in grants to 40 U.S. organizations intent on doing good. The class also heard from Patrick Dempsey and Cal Ripken, Jr.

If you missed this year’s Giving with Purpose course, there are other free online resources for charitable investors to keep you busy until the next one. Each has its share of surprising and entertaining insights. While on the path to becoming an educated donor, don’t forget about practical matters. Creating a charitable giving plan can focus your efforts around a worthy cause. A financial advisor, an estate lawyer and an accountant can help you determine how much you can give in ways that are effective and tax-efficient. That’s just one more way a little knowledge can make a bigger difference in the world.

(Click here to contact Chris Cravens at Coffee Financial.)



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