Charitable Donations Still Strong
Donors are continuing to open their wallets to charitable causes, despite tough economic times, according to Fidelity.
The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund reported that contributions in 2009 were slightly up from a year earlier, going from $1.05 billion to $1.1 billion.

The fund-the nation's largest donor-advised fund-supported more than 60,000 nonprofit organizations last year with more than 298,000 grants-a total that was up 1.8% from 2008.

"Despite the economic uncertainty of 2009, our donors maintained their commitment to help the nation's nonprofit organizations at a time when that help was desperately needed," said Sarah C. Libbey, president of the fund.
Father, Son Team As Consultants

Father and son Paul and David Karofsky have teamed up to launch a new iteration of Transition Consulting Group Ltd., a Framingham, Mass.-based consultant to family and closely held businesses. By forming a tandem, the Karofskys are set up as a family business consulting other family businesses.

"With one out of three family businesses surviving into the second generation, families in business together take on more risks both financially and personally than ever before," said Paul Karofsky, who founded the firm in 1991.

The senior Karofsky, who serves as CEO, was a third-generation CEO in his family's distribution business before selling the company. Son David has spent the past 15 years as a consultant to startup firm executives.

Online Advisor School Launches
A new online educational site for advisors in the affluent market has launched.

The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management calls itself an online university for financial professionals in the affluent market.

The curriculum includes 41 video courses and a suite of marketing tools, resources and research. The site also includes forums where students can share ideas and a coaching and counseling center.

The site, at, was founded by marketing consultant Richard Weylman of Boca Grande, Fla.
"In today's changing market, affluent investors are seeking to do business with people they know and trust," he says. "Financial professionals are finding that it isn't enough to just be technically competent. Success today requires new, fresh and relevant marketing."