Running a business isn’t easy, and that work can be even more challenging when the business you’re managing is a nonprofit. Sometimes, a little help is called for — and that’s where a trustworthy financial advisor comes in.
By outsourcing financial responsibilities to a trusted advisor, nonprofits and charitable organizations can free up their time, allowing them to get back to focusing on their real work: pursuing the organization’s mission. A financial advisor can help nonprofit managers analyze and manage cash flow, set financial goals, establish an investment plan, and more.
That’s why we here at investor.com applaud financial advisors who make it a part of their mission to work with nonprofits. To help nonprofit managers find a financial expert, we’ve compiled a list of Top Charitable Financial Advisor Firms. More than 7,000 firms were analyzed. Read on for more information about the rankings, and for the complete list of financial advisors.
How do I choose an investment company for my nonprofit?
Just like choosing a financial advisor to help manage your personal finances, the first step in hiring a financial planner or investment manager for a nonprofit organization is finding someone you trust. Ask other nonprofit organizations for recommendations, or select a handful of advisors from our list below. Then set up interviews, keeping the following questions in mind:
- Does the financial advisor answer your questions in a way you understand?
- Do they understand and support your organization’s mission and values?
- Are they prepared to create an investment plan that aligns with your organization’s mission and values?
- Do they have experience with your type of nonprofit — have they worked with organizations that are about the same size, with a similar organizational structure?
What should a nonprofit look for in a financial advisor?
Here are some tips on what to look for in a financial advisor for your nonprofit:
- To avoid conflicts of interest, look for an advisor who is “fee-only.” That tells you they’re not earning commissions by selling you overpriced products.
- Find an advisor who is a fiduciary. That means they’re focused on your best interests. (Wondering where to find a fiduciary? Look no further than our list of financial advisors below.)
- Ask if the advisor is willing to help you with all of your financial goals. Are they focused solely on managing your investments?
- Assess whether your financial advisor has experience working with nonprofits like yours.
- Look for an advisor who has a schedule that aligns with yours. Will the advisor have time to meet regularly with your board of directors, if need be? Do they prefer phone consultations whereas you require in-person meetings?
Can a nonprofit make investments?
Yes, a nonprofit absolutely can open a brokerage account and invest, and in fact, it might be a good way to grow assets over time, given the stock market’s historical rate of return. A nonprofit organization might want to focus on investing in companies that align with its own mission and values, but the growing number of so-called ESG investments makes that easy. ESG stands for environmental, social and governance, and is akin to socially responsible investing. ESG refers to companies that follow standards that are likely to appeal to socially conscious investors.
There’s another benefit to investing: A nonprofit that opens a brokerage account can let donors gift shares of stock to it, which might provide a valuable incentive to potential donors thanks to the tax benefits of gifting stock (the donor can avoid capital gains by gifting stock, instead of selling the stock and giving cash).
What is a typical charge for a financial advisor?
It’d be nice if we could give you a simple dollar amount here. But there are a slew of ways that financial advisors charge for their services, and a wide range of prices attached to each of those fee structures. (We can offer these seven key questions to ask about financial advisor fees.)
For example, a fee-only financial advisor might charge by the hour, by the service (e.g, for a “financial plan”), or for an annual retainer. Hourly fees can range from $200 to $500. Service costs will vary depending on the service, but, for example, a financial plan might cost $3,000 or more. With an annual retainer, costs will vary depending on the specific terms of the agreement.
"Our mission at investor.com is to be a trusted resource for Americans researching and comparing financial advisors. Because of our focus on consumer advocacy, we thought it was very important to highlight and recognize firms who have committed to helping charitable organizations, as oftentimes, these acts of service are not brought to the forefront." -Jessica Hoelscher, investor.com Director of Data and Research
The investor.com rankings
The financial advisors listed below have been named the Top Charitable Financial Advisor Firms. More than 7,000 firms were analyzed to compile this list.* To be considered for the list, financial advisory firms must:
- Qualify as highly rated by the investor.com Trust Algorithm.
- Have a clean disciplinary history.
- Have at least 10% or more of their total client base with charitable organizations.
- Have at least 10% or more of total assets under management with charitable organizations.
*Data compiled in May 2020.
|Company||Overall||Assets Under Management||Total Clients||Total Advisors||Average Client Balance|
|1492 Capital Management||$174.9 million||106||3||$1.6 million|
|Accuvest Global Advisors||$476.6 million||41||4||$11.6 million|
|Aetos Alternatives Management||$7.1 billion||103||19||$68.6 million|
|Agincourt Capital Management||$7.4 billion||197||12||$37.5 million|
|Alaska Permanent Capital Management CO||$3.5 billion||84||3||$42.2 million|
|Alesco Advisors||$4.2 billion||590||14||$7.1 million|
|American Trust Investment Advisors||$283.0 million||127||2||$2.2 million|
|Angeles Investment Advisors||$6.2 billion||61||15||$101.7 million|
|Appomattox Advisory||$1.2 billion||33||9||$37.6 million|
|Arbiter Partners||$734.2 million||21||7||$35.0 million|
|Arcadia Investment Management Corp||$503.8 million||91||4||$5.5 million|
|Ascension Investment Management||$41.7 billion||8||15||$5.2 billion|
|Ashford Capital Management||$809.1 million||105||5||$7.7 million|
|Asset Strategy Consultants||$6.9 billion||92||9||$74.6 million|
|Aureus Asset Management||$5.9 billion||220||3||$26.8 million|
|Avivar Capital||$444.4 million||21||5||$21.2 million|
|Bahl & Gaynor||$17.5 billion||828||33||$21.1 million|
|Bares Capital Management||$2.7 billion||47||6||$57.9 million|
|Beaton Management Co||$306.0 million||136||2||$2.3 million|
|Blue Edge Capital||$529.9 million||141||4||$3.8 million|
|Boston Common Asset Management||$4.6 billion||391||2||$11.7 million|
|Broad Run Investment Management||$914.9 million||188||5||$4.9 million|
|Buckhead Capital Management||$3.4 billion||258||9||$13.3 million|
|Cambridge Associates||$276.0 billion||581||463||$475.1 million|
|Capricorn Investment Group||$8.7 billion||31||12||$281.6 million|
|Cardinal Capital Management||$3.2 billion||43||7||$75.3 million|
|Checks & Balances||$225.9 million||25||1||$9.0 million|
|Chelsea Management Company||$471.7 million||108||2||$4.4 million|
|Clearbrook Investment Solutions||$192.4 million||47||2||$4.1 million|
|Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management||$6.6 billion||669||24||$9.9 million|
|Cornerstone Capital||$1.1 billion||174||3||$6.4 million|
|Cornerstone Management||$1.3 billion||282||6||$4.8 million|
|Crewcial Partners||$1.3 billion||12||23||$107.4 million|
|Cullen, Patterson Capital Management||$132.1 million||5||1||$26.4 million|
|Cynosure Management||$2.5 billion||58||11||$43.6 million|
|Delphi Management||$103.0 million||28||4||$3.7 million|
|DHK Financial Advisors||$1.3 billion||55||2||$23.7 million|
|Disciplined Growth Investors||$4.1 billion||126||10||$32.6 million|
|Eagle Capital Management||$23.9 billion||2,337||1||$10.2 million|
|Essex Investment Management Company||$627.1 million||168||10||$3.7 million|
|F L Putnam Investment Management Co.||$4.3 billion||1,673||35||$2.6 million|
|FEG||$16.6 billion||174||1||$95.5 million|
|FiduciaryVest||$3.4 billion||25||4||$136.2 million|
|Fiducient Advisors||$40.0 billion||1,061||59||$37.7 million|
|Fourth Street Performance Partners||$4.5 billion||108||4||$41.8 million|
|Garcia Hamilton & Associates||$16.8 billion||441||3||$38.0 million|
|Graypoint||$3.4 billion||553||25||$6.1 million|
|Grey Street Capital||$1.7 billion||78||8||$21.5 million|
|Greycourt & Co||$5.2 billion||37||1||$140.3 million|
|Griffin Family Partners||$211.8 million||37||1||$5.7 million|
|GW Financial||$93.5 million||101||3||$925,881|
|Harpswell Capital Advisors||$401.5 million||52||2||$7.7 million|
|Harrington Investments||$297.7 million||124||3||$2.4 million|
|HS Management Partners||$2.4 billion||285||1||$8.5 million|
|Income Research + Management||$89.0 billion||816||60||$109.1 million|
|IPEX||$1.8 billion||40||3||$45.3 million|
|Iridian Asset Management||$895.7 million||17||4||$52.7 million|
|John W. Bristol & Co.||$4.8 billion||135||1||$35.5 million|
|Lumina Wealth Management||$152.6 million||151||3||$1.0 million|
|Mangham Associates||$840.2 million||27||4||$31.1 million|
|Mark Asset Management||$758.7 million||25||6||$30.3 million|
|Marvin & Palmer Associates||$281.6 million||14||1||$20.1 million|
|Mill Creek Capital Advisors||$7.9 billion||425||24||$18.5 million|
|Morant Wright Management Limited||$3.7 billion||11||7||$337.5 million|
|Mount Vernon Associates||$159.7 million||70||1||$2.3 million|
|Mozaic||$2.9 billion||78||10||$37.1 million|
|NEPC||$63.6 billion||417||1||$152.5 million|
|Neumeier Poma Investment Counsel||$1.3 billion||68||5||$18.5 million|
|Newsouth Capital Management||$2.3 billion||185||9||$12.7 million|
|Oak City Consulting||$765.7 million||44||3||$17.4 million|
|Offit Capital||$16.1 billion||269||45||$59.7 million|
|Paragon Advisors||$930.0 million||76||3||$12.2 million|
|Paul Comstock Partners||$2.9 billion||110||9||$26.0 million|
|Porter White Investment Advisors||$640.7 million||117||8||$5.5 million|
|Raffa Investment Advisers||$1.0 billion||193||6||$5.3 million|
|Regis Management Company||$4.1 billion||50||6||$81.2 million|
|Richmond Capital Management||$5.4 billion||199||13||$27.0 million|
|Roanoke Asset Management Corp||$267.5 million||59||3||$4.5 million|
|Sasco Capital||$866.0 million||5||3||$173.2 million|
|Sawgrass Asset Management||$2.1 billion||123||11||$17.1 million|
|Sellwood Consulting||$1.3 billion||54||7||$23.6 million|
|SIT Investment Associates||$3.2 billion||47||34||$67.7 million|
|Speece Thorson Capital Group||$502.0 million||26||4||$19.3 million|
|Strategic Investment Management||$24.9 billion||75||38||$332.0 million|
|Summit Rock Advisors||$19.9 billion||65||39||$305.4 million|
|Summit Street Capital Management||$487.3 million||5||3||$97.5 million|
|Syntrinsic Investment Counsel||$1.6 billion||133||9||$11.8 million|
|The Caprock Group||$5.9 billion||291||29||$20.3 million|
|Tillman Hartley||$512.8 million||51||4||$10.1 million|
|Towle & Co.||$773.4 million||80||6||$9.7 million|
|Trillium Asset Management||$4.5 billion||2,155||11||$2.1 million|
|Twin Capital Management||$793.7 million||44||4||$18.0 million|
|Valicenti Advisory Services||$502.3 million||964||3||$521,030|
|Weaver C. Barksdale & Associates||$3.7 billion||63||7||$59.1 million|
|YON Drake & Associates||$529.5 million||9||2||$58.8 million|
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