Philanthropy for a New Era

June 13, 2023

at 12:00 pm EST

Guest Speaker(s):
Stephanie Ellis-Smith, CEO and Principal, Phīla Engaged Giving, PPI Dean of Philanthropy
Sandi Bragar CFP®, Chief Client Officer, Partner, Aspiriant

Philanthropy has been subject to the seismic shifts we’ve all been experiencing: political polarization, the expansion of the billionaire class, debates on personal freedoms, a resurgent focus on racial and economic justice, and much more. Further, those societal changes are occurring in concert with the more private shifts that are happening within the families we advise: the “Great Wealth Transfer”, expanded notions of family, and a growing mental health crisis, to name a few. For giving families, philanthropy sits at the nexus of all these issues. This webinar will review the latest trends in the sector and how advisors can better support their generous clients through a shifting landscape.

Introduction to our Guest Speaker(s)

Stephanie Ellis-Smith is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) and has nearly 30 years experience in advising high-impact individuals and companies. She works with ultra-high net wealth and high-profile individuals, families, foundations, and corporations to make catalytic investments in people and organizations. 

She believes strongly in being a compassionate and generous member of society and has dedicated over 20 years of her professional and personal life to the social sector. In 2020, she co-founded Giving Gap (formerly “Give Blck”), an online database of Black-founded and led organizations. Having served in a variety of capacities in the social sector–non-profit CEO, social enterprise COO, foundation and non-profit trustee, and even a corporate board member—her diverse experience and deep knowledge makes her unique among her peers and singularly capable of being a trusted advisor to the world’s most generous families and institutions.

Stephanie has a BA from UCLA and has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Washington State Arts Commission, appointed by Governor Gary Locke; the Seattle Arts Commission, appointed by Mayor Greg Nickels; and the Central Waterfront Committee, appointed by Mayor Ed Murray. She currently serves on the Seattle Art Museum’s Museum Development Authority Board (appointed by Mayor Jenny Durkan) and is on the board of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. She was appointed a Dean of Philanthropy in 2022 by The Purposeful Planning Institute. She has two young-adult children and lives in Seattle with her husband and a silly Doberman named Heidi.

Webinar Host

Sandi is the Chief Client Officer at Aspiriant and leads our Planning, Strategy & Research team. The group is responsible for our state-of-the-art wealth planning platform that fosters intimate client relationships and helps families navigate the complex facets of their financial lives. Sandi also co-hosts our Money Tales podcast. Sandi joined Aspiriant in 1999 and became a partner of the firm in 2002.

Sandi began her professional career in 1993 at Ernst & Young, where she spent two and a half years as a senior tax consultant in the firm’s Personal Financial Counseling practice.

Sandi is a member of the Financial Planning Association and serves as a mentor in the Financial Planning Association’s Residency Program. She is also an active member of the Purposeful Planning Institute and chairs the Vision Expedition that is planning the organization’s annual Rendezvous conference. Sandi has been frequently quoted in the media, including CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Radio, Fox Business News, Yahoo! Finance, The Wall Street Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Among other accolades, Sandi has been named one of Forbes America’s Top Women Advisors and Best-In-State Wealth Advisors in 2021.

Sandi holds a B.A. degree in Business Economics from the University of California-Santa Barbara. She earned her Certified Public Accountant credential in 1996 and her Certified Financial Planner™ credential in 1999. Sandi is Treasurer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco. She also serves on the Investment Committee of Kiddo!, the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation.

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