In this episode, we’re talking with Bob Roth who is President & CEO of RoMan Manufacturing, a global manufacturing business based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bob is part of the second generation of leadership at RoMan. The business is a two-family business that was founded by Bob’s father and a business partner nearly four decades ago.
While we could talk to Bob about any number of family business topics, in this episode we’re talking about donor-advised funds and Bob’s role as a philanthropist. Among other forms of charitable giving, Bob and his wife Marcy have a donor-advised fund at their local community foundation. Bob previously served on that organization’s board, so he’s well-versed on this ins and outs of these funds.
For some context, we like this explanation of donor-advised funds from the National Philanthropic Trust:
“A donor-advised fund is a philanthropic vehicle established at a public charity. It allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time. An easy way to think about a donor-advised fund is like a charitable savings account: a donor contributes to the fund as frequently as they like and then recommends grants to their favorite charity when they are ready.”
During our conversation, Bob and I discuss why someone might choose to establish a donor-advised fund over a private foundation. He also provides some great points to consider if you’re thinking about starting a fund.
In this episode:
- Meet Bob and hear about his experience in business and community philanthropy (3:45)
- What is a donor advised fund? (7:35)
- Why would a person choose a donor advised fund vs a private foundation? (9:45)
- Why work with a community foundation? (16:00)
- The considerations for setting up a donor-advised fund (22:03)
- How the donor-advised fund fits into Bob and Marcy’s overall giving (34:42)
- Engaging the next generation in philanthropy (38:14)
- Any regrets? (41:33)
- Bonus questions (42:30)
Bob represents the second generation of leadership at RoMan. He is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of mid- and long-range strategies as well as oversight of the company’s financial operations. Since joining the company in 1987, he has held various positions including executive stints in purchasing, finance and administration. Prior to joining RoMan, he was a buyer for General Motors. As an industry leader, he presently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President of the American Welding Society, as well as on the Board of Directors of Grand Transformer Incorporated. He also serves on the Spectrum Health System Board and on the United Bank of Michigan’s Board.
His past board affiliations include chairmanships of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Priority Health boards. He is also a recipient of the Kettering University Engineering Achievement Award and the John G. Thodis Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award. Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree from General Motors Institute.
Notable & Quotable:
Working with a community foundation, you get a wider view of community needs and how an impact can be made. —Bob Roth #successfulgenerations #familyphilanthropy
If you like the three bears, a donor-advised fund is the mama bear. —Bob Roth #successfulgenerations #familyphilanthropy
When you make a gift to a donor-advised fund you are no longer in control of the assets. —Bob Roth #successfulgenerations #familyphilanthropy
Bob’s advice to his 20-year-old self: Stay curious. —Bob Roth #successfulgenerations #familyphilanthropy
A donor-advised fund is one piece of our overall giving strategy. —Bob Roth #successfulgenerations #familyphilanthropy
- What is a donor-advised fund from the National Philanthropic Trust
- Grand Rapids Community Foundation
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If you are the next generation of family business, philanthropy and wealth, and have a topic you think we should discuss, let us know at Ellie@successfulgenerations.com.