Morgan Stanley Offers Charity Guide
Over 500 U.S. charities were good enough to be rated last year by The American Institute of Philanthropy. To make due diligence less daunting for wealthy donors, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has put together a guide that narrows the focus down to 20 charities.

The firm's second annual Perspectives in Philanthropy Gift Catalog was put together by Morgan's in-house panel, with the help of certain charities and after a vigorous vetting process, according to the firm. In the process, the list was narrowed down from last year's roster of 40 charities.

The catalog isn't intended to be comprehensive but, rather, serve as a showcase to stimulate philanthropic ideas and encourage philanthropic giving, explained Melanie Schnoll Begun, managing director of philanthropic services at Morgan, who along with Steven Rosandich, vice president of philanthropic services, served as a co-editor.

The catalog provides detailed information about each charity. Included are Aid to Artisans, Cherokee Boys Club, The Fistula Foundation, Panthera and Doctors Without Borders. Many of the charities are already supported by Morgan clients with a net worth of at least $50 million and the proclivity to give at least a million away a year. The point of teh guide is to get these charities in front of a wider audience, according to Begun.

"Take a client of ours with a foundation directed towards a particular initiative--say, for example, childhood sarcomas," Begun said."How does that client find other families that have lost a child to a similar cancer, who want to do something to memorialize or honor that person and are intent on making a difference? How do they stop that other family from starting another foundation that may, after a couple of years, flounder? The only way to do it is to build this larger community."

Despite a nationwide drop in charitable giving, the catalog has been "incredibly well received," said Begun, noting that charitable giving by Morgan's wealthy clients has not significantly diminished. "In fact, some gave more because they felt the need to make up for the difference in what others weren't contributing," she said.

During the past year, Morgan client-donors have become increasingly "mission driven," and engaged in a "much more intentional and thoughtful process of selection," Begun said.

She observed, too, that some clients had begun to consider "spending up" their foundations. "They are making more contributions now to groups and issues they really care about instead of just a mandatory minimum payout from their foundations," she explained, adding that the philanthropy catalog serves as a useful resource in this regard as well.

To download a copy of the catalog click here.

In other news ... 

Average Wall Street bonuses dropped 5% this year, according to the eFinancialCareers Global Bonus Survey, which cited the early reports of Wall Street professionals who are bonus-eligible and know the amount of their annual bonus. These individual bonuses ranged from zero to $5 million, demonstrating that pay-for-performance remains intact on Wall Street, the report noted. While 8% of bonus-eligible Wall Street professionals took home no bonus this year, and 19% saw their bonuses decline, the majority (56%) of financial professionals who saw bonuses in both years took home more than the previous year. Go to for more information.

In a year already marked by natural disasters such as flooding in Brazil and Australia, foreign nonprofits can reach out to American donors for help much more quickly though the Friends of Charity Fund now being offered by Charities Aid Foundation America (CAFAmerica). The fund is designed to cut red tape and lower expenses (about a third of the cost to establish a US 501(c)3 charitable entity), enabling foreign nonprofits to quickly launch and maintain a U.S. fundraising appeal and accept tax-deductible donations of any size from U.S donors. Go to for more information.