Case Study 3: Jane

Case Study 3: Jane



Jane is a widow with young children who had a sudden opportunity to use wealth philanthropically after her husband’s death. She shifted from the assumption that she and her husband would establish a foundation later in life to focusing full- time on philanthropy.

Social Impact Goals

A more vibrant region, thanks to a more effective nonprofit and philanthropic sector.

Talent for Giving

Close friend to help navigate professional wealth management, peers who helped her understand her region’s needs and the role nonprofits and philanthropy play.

Jane’s children were still in elementary school when her husband passed away suddenly. After her husband’s death, Jane’s wealth enabled her to pursue her philanthropic goal full-time. That goal was to make her city healthier and more vibrant by strengthening the nonprofit infrastructure that served the residents of that city. She joined the boards of six nonprofits, all based in and around the city where her husband had launched the successful biotech company that generated the family’s wealth and where she was now raising their young children.

Her fellow board members became a valuable source of talent: “I learned by doing and from my fellow board members.” Her deep commitment to strengthening the regional community grew out of the many conversations she had with her fellow board members. She served as a board member and pro-bono consultant to a wide range of organizations, and that breadth of experience led her to appreciate the critical role that nonprofits and the philanthropic sector play in any community. As a result, she began looking for opportunities with the potential not just to address one cause area or one nonprofit, but to enhance the ability of all nonprofits to contribute to a more vibrant society.

One of Jane’s closest friends, Lee, encouraged her to hire a wealth manager, explaining that the right wealth manager would eventually become “an extension of her family.” Lee set up interviews with wealth advisors and accompanied Jane to those initial meetings. Hiring her wealth management team helped Jane create a life plan that identified the financial assets she had and strategies for balancing her philanthropic goals and her family/lifestyle goals.