With COVID impacting charities, endowments, and foundations, broker-dealer Celadon Financial has created a foundation to help these organizations with their fundraising efforts.
The coronavirus pandemic has put a hold on many traditional fundraising events charities, foundations and endowments rely on for fundraising, including galas, dinners, auctions, and various sporting events, such as golf outings.
As charities are feeling the pinch from lockdowns and social distancing mandates, many are desperately searching for new ideas and avenues to reach potential donors and raise much needed funds. Enter the Celadon Foundation, which will match donations from Celadon Financial and its clients to charities, foundations, and endowments in need of donations.
According to Daryl Hersch, chairman & CEO of Celadon Financial, while the impacts of COVID certainly make the foundation a new and needed fundraising resource for charities, the genesis of the idea came about before the pandemic.
“We’ve been thinking about forming this foundation for a couple of years, but it takes time to get these things in order properly, Hersch said. “But it is absolutely the perfect time to find help for charities. We, as a firm, were doing well during COVID and we really wanted to get the ball rolling on this philanthropic outreach to help those in need.”
Celadon Foundation operates using an operating model similar to Amazon Smile, explained Suzanne Currie, senior managing director of the Foundation. When Celadon’s clients use the broker-dealer to execute transactions in liquid assets, such as equities, options, fixed income, and futures, or use additional custodial and financing services with prime brokerage services the firm offer, Celadon will donate a specified portion of the revenue generated by the client to the foundation.
Currie said firms that wish to donate to charity or can choose one of their own or, if the firm doesn’t have a preferred charity, there is Giving Partners, which is a list of charities that have opened accounts with Celadon, to present to managers.
“Giving Partners essentially cross-pollinates the money managers with the charities for donation purposes,” Currie noted. “Each charity will be featured on our website and introduced to the money managers when they’ve opened an account with Celadon.”
Giving Partners also provides a new silo of opportunity for charities seeking to bring their message and mission to new audiences, Currie added.
While most people think of donating cash to charity, a number of charities want to approach their donor base about donating appreciated stock, or cash and appreciated stock, Currie explained.
Through the Giving Partners program, Celadon opens accounts for charities, who then go to their donors asking for appreciated assets.
“With the markets at an all-time high, there are some folks who have significant wealth and we thought this would be helpful to the charities in trying to tap a new donor resource,” Currie said.
However, chasing down donated stock can be very onerous, but Celadon partnered with technology platform Overflow to help in this capacity. Overflow will identify where the stock is located, confirm how many shares are donated, and process the trade, then transfer it to the charity’s account at Celadon. Celadon will then liquidate the position and wire transfer the cash into the bank account of the charity.
Hersch said while the Celadon Foundation is up and running, it is still in its infancy. While Celadon Financial is making donations and is actively pursuing other participants, the main focus right now is building out the foundation’s social platforms and increasing its exposure.
“Ultimately, our goal is to raise at least $1 million a year for charities,” Hersch said. “So far, the response has been very encouraging, and people are excited by the concept. I think the Celadon Foundation is going to be a positive force in philanthropic fundraising.”