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The idea of Thompson & Associates was born in a donor’s living room while Dr. Eddie Thompson was working as a development officer in the 1980’s for a university in Nashville, Tennessee. Eddie was explaining a charitable remainder trust to this donor, emphasizing the great benefits to the organization from the arrangement.
Quietly taking the illustration, leaning back and glancing over at Eddie, the donor spoke words that shaped our current process: “Eddie, all you care about is my money.”
Ashamedly, Eddie knew he was right. With few words, Eddie gathered his papers off of the donor’s coffee table, excused himself, got in his car and parked a few blocks away. At that moment, he vowed to always put the donor’s needs first.
Eddie adopted an estate planning process for his planned giving efforts. After all, how can one truly know if a gift – especially a large gift – is right for them outside of the context of their overall estate plan? Donors appreciated the process and the results were amazing.
However, there was still something missing. Many donors were uncomfortable giving a representative of a nonprofit too much personal information. While Eddie stressed that he was only concerned about what was best for the donor, he was still an employee of a nonprofit, dependent on gifts to survive.
If I show him all I have, the donor reasons, he will want it all.
There had to be a better way to truly put the donor’s needs first. In 1996, Eddie started working with his first nonprofit client as a consultant, offering confidential estate planning services to its supporters. As a consultant, Eddie could truly meet the needs of each individual without any perception of bias: he did not ask for gifts, draft documents, manage money, sell insurance or benefit in any way from his recommendations. He could focus on truly helping people achieve their planning objectives. The results of the process were phenomenal for everyone involved.
Since the humble beginning in 1996, Thompson & Associates remains true to the initial mission of providing the highest quality estate planning services to nonprofit organizations and their supporters.
Today, Thompson & Associates has grown, garnering some of the nation’s most talented and experienced professionals to service these noble nonprofits and their deserving supporters.
“Your estate plan is the single greatest financial impact you can have on your family and the largest financial transfer you will ever control. Planning for this transfer can be profoundly liberating and positive when it breathes life and possibility into the future.”
– Eddie Thompson