Community Foundation CEO and President Melissa Thompson Receives Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® Designation by the American College of Financial Services

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville CEO and President Melissa Thompson recently received the prestigious recognition of Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® designation by The American College of Financial Services. The Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) designation is a certification ensuring that its recipients share a common body of knowledge to collaborate effectively with clients on all aspects of charitable gift planning. The cross-disciplinary curriculum synthesizes the arts and sciences of philanthropic planning, including taxation, finance, fundraising, purposeful planning, family philanthropy, psychology, and strategic philanthropy.

Thompson says, “We help donors be generous, however that looks for them. The CAP® program provides additional insights into philanthropic planning that will better equip us to guide donors on the path to generosity that is right for them. The sophisticated generosity strategies learned through CAP® will help our donors realize their philanthropic goals for themselves, their family, and their community.”

The rigorous CAP® program requires completion of three 14-week graduate-level courses and culminates in comprehensive exams prior to awarding accreditation. Thompson continues, “I am proud to share that each of the four CAP® certified advisors serving the Greater Huntsville area have close affiliation with our Community Foundation. Both Jay Dryden, Vector Wealth Strategies, and Jessica Hovis Smith, Longview Financial Advisors, serve on the Community Foundation Board of Directors, and Chris Russell, Linscomb & Williams, is the immediate past Community Foundation Board Chair and Chair of the Community Foundation’s Compass Society. I join this prestigious group of advisors who are committed to growing generosity in our region by supporting clients who wish to create charitable giving plans that strengthen their families and communities.”

Jay Dryden, Vector Wealth Strategies, shares, “True Wealth Management always includes elements of Philanthropic Planning, and as such, is a major part of the discussions we have with clients every day. I decided to go through the CAP® program and get the accreditation to validate the work we are doing in this area. The training and testing in the CAP® program helped me to see clearly where our existing planning process was on point but also shined a light on areas where we could improve. I am confident that our community will benefit from everything Melissa continues to do to polish and refine her skills in this arena.”

Jessica Hovis Smith, Longview Financial Advisors, says, “Longview Financial Advisors, Inc. specializes in working with clients who have an inclination to give. Pursuing the CAP® designation was a natural next step to ensure that we have the expertise required to assist clients in becoming more strategic and impactful in their giving. It has also allowed us to become a resource for local nonprofits as they build out their fundraising programs. It is a win-win for everyone - the client and the nonprofit.”

Chris Russell, Linscomb & Williams, adds, “As a Wealth Advisor, developing strategic options in charitable giving is so well received by clients. The CAP® program helps us create different ways to give, all based on a particular person’s balance sheet. We know the least efficient way to give to charity is from the check book. If we can explore a range of considerations, including some with better tax advantages, people really value that approach.”

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