Your clients rely on your guidance to make important financial decisions. When it comes to charitable giving, we can partner with you to simplify their giving and amplify their impact. But don’t just take our word for it. Hear from professionals in the field like Dan Waters, attorney with Lamson, Dugan, and Murray.

Waters is a partner in the firm’s business and estate planning department and serves on their Management Committee. His practice focuses on estate planning, business succession planning, corporate governance, and commercial transactions. He regularly counsels closely held businesses and their owners, with an emphasis on succession planning and the transfer of wealth.


What sets the Omaha Community Foundation apart as a partner for philanthropic goals?

I am an estate planning/tax professional who knows how to apply technical philanthropic tools, but I am not a philanthropy expert. When I meet with my clients about estate planning and tax objectives, charitable objectives come to light. OCF’s philanthropic expert provides great guidance from there. The OCF team seamlessly works in tandem with my tax and estate planning work to incorporate the client’s philanthropic motivation and values in order to ensure they achieve their giving goals.

What is a crucial aspect of serving your clients’ giving goals you weren’t aware of when you started?

The importance of being quiet and listening. Not forcing the issue – don’t be a hammer looking for a nail. Understand what is motivating this person to give. What does the community or nonprofit really need and what is the donor trying to achieve? How do we merge the donor’s values with the needs in the community?

This means bringing everyone together. Working with a larger team that includes other professional advisors, the philanthropy experts at the Omaha Community Foundation, and in some cases representatives from the nonprofit organization recipient, we can see the full picture of the need and the solution. For example, if my client wants to help the nonprofit build capital assets or improve programs, the collaborative team can determine the best way to structure the gift.

How does working with OCF help you serve your clients?

When it comes to philanthropy and the various ways to support charity, there are countless creative solutions. I don’t even pretend to know them all, or even most.  I went through the Omaha Community Foundation’s Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy Program (CAP®) nine or ten years ago and have been a practicing lawyer with tax expertise for years. But every time I listen to Kelli or other OCF experts present in one of the CAP courses, I learn something new.

When the staff at OCF provides an example of how they have been able to help someone in the past year, I typically realize I have a client that could benefit from something similar.