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Spring 2024

The Ripple Effect of Scholarship Giving

Three Things you Must Know About the Gift and Estate Tax Sunset

Gifts of Appreciated Stock: Let the Numbers do the Talking

Advisor Highlight: Christopher R. Dang
Making Scholarship Giving Easy Through HCF

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SPRING 2024

Chris Dang

Advisor Highlight: Christopher R. Dang

Making Scholarship Giving Easy Through HCF

Chris Dang, a 2014 Outstanding Professional Advisor in Philanthropy and a seasoned estate planner, understands the intricacies involved in scholarship giving. With 25 years of experience serving his clients, and as a father who sees tuition bills on the horizon, Dang has witnessed firsthand the financial and emotional motivations his clients have for scholarship giving.

“Being a parent of a high schooler, I’m starting to understand what it takes to get into college these days, and the cost related to it is starting to creep up on me,” he says. “Many of my clients choose to put a scholarship in place so they can help local kids get a leg up financially, without carrying around such a big debt burden.”

That impulse to help financially is often paired with an emotional reason to give. One poignant example is a client Dang served for nearly two decades. “She was a local girl born and raised in Hawai‘i, a public school teacher, who lost her husband several decades ago,” he says. “He was a doctor and she inherited quite a bit of real estate. She missed him dearly, never remarrying, and she decided, upon her passing, that she wanted to honor her husband’s legacy by supporting medical students who cannot afford medical school, as well as those pursuing teaching careers, with scholarships.”

Streamlining Scholarship Management
Emotionally satisfying as they can be for donors, practically speaking, scholarships can be a lot to manage. Dang says he relies on HCF to more efficiently handle the burden of scholarship fund implementation and administration.

“As the advisor, your client leans on you as a confidant in whom they feel comfortable. But the reality is that I have thousands of clients, and I cannot carry out on my own what's intended on a day-to-day basis. There's no way I'm going to manage a scholarship and send out requests from students and so forth.” With HCF, Dang knows all of those details are going to be taken care of, noting that he has “proof in the annual report; I can see what the scholarship is doing.”

For clients or advisors starting the philanthropic planning journey with their clients, Dang recommends an easier path to giving than creating a will or trust. “A lot of times if you set up a will or trust and you're just naming a charity, such as a particular school, that's not earmarked enough for your client’s intent. It’s giving to their alma mater, but is that paying for the president's salary?

“If you want to be a little more specific and creative, work with HCF for scholarship giving for your estate plan. A memorandum of understanding is referenced in your will or trust and the client works with HCF to execute this memorandum reflecting their intent for the gift. Every time your client wants to make changes, the memorandum of understanding can change without having to alter complicated legal documents. Often clients are wondering, ‘How am I going to go about setting up a charity? Is this what I really want to do? What's the easiest way to do it?’ That is the easiest way: work with Hawai‘i Community Foundation.”

While a client’s desire to give may be simple, the process does not need to be complicated. With the support of HCF, advisors can help clients navigate the scholarship giving landscape with confidence and ease.