Enter a search term.
Choose your giving strategy. You have access to a full range of flexible giving options to start a charitable fund.

Manage your fund

Log on to your fund dashboard and discover resources to help you manage your charitable fund.


Get the latest news including donor stories from Thrivent Charitable.
Use the search bar above to find information throughout our website. Or choose a topic you want to learn more about.

Talk less, listen more: building charitable relationships

April 2023

Though Financial Consultant Bryan Schmeling has been with Thrivent for 17 years, it is only in the last five years he made charitable planning a cornerstone of his practice. Doing so opens doors the Voices in Philanthropy-Hall of Honor* member never knew existed.

Donor-advised fund for flexibility
Not long ago, Bryan was consulting with another Thrivent financial advisor on a comprehensive planning case for a newly retired couple. “They don’t have children and wanted to simplify their estate by giving their money away during their lifetime,” he recalls.

Bryan suggested they meet with a Thrivent Charitable gift planner to learn about their options. What captured their attention was a donor-advised fund, which they established with cash and non-qualified appreciated securities.

“They love the flexibility they have with it. They could make one donation to their fund and designate gifts to as many charities as they choose,” he says.

With their generosity goal in mind to donate all their assets, they asked Bryan for a recommendation on how to best utilize their thrift savings plan (TSP) during retirement.

He explained how they can roll the assets they accumulated as career government employees to an IRA. Then, at age 70-1/2, they can begin qualified charitable distributions (QCD) by creating a non-advised fund through Thrivent Charitable and pre-select charities to receive automatic grants, either as a lump sum or into perpetuity.

Endowment funds open doors
Bryan helped also create and manage endowment funds for a variety of nonprofits, including churches, food rescue groups and wish-granting organizations.

“Part of putting charitable planning at the forefront is the relationships I have with nonprofits,” he says. “Letting organizations participate in the decisions, like whether they prefer gifts in a lump sum or over time, leads to more business.”

Bryan hears from clients about charities they support and does what he can to learn more about them. Organizations frequently invite him to speak with their donors about how he can help them live out their charitable goals.

It was during a presentation for the wish-granting organization Bryan was asked to help a family with special-needs planning. He subsequently has done joint field work with Thrivent Advisor Hannah Magrum who specializes in helping families with those needs.

Whether you’re serving individuals or organizations, Bryan has a simple approach. “More than 90% of what I do is listen to people,” he says. “Talk less, listen more and build relationships.”

Contact our team of gift planners to discuss unique solutions for your clients. Email us or call 800-365-4172 to get started.