Good afternoon.

Everyone here has done very well in schooling me that I only have three minutes.

Luckily, my life can, more or less, be summed up in just one minute.

I’m proud to be an Iowa Hawkeye.

I’m even prouder to be an Iowa lawyer. I’ve been one for more than 20 years.

I’m most proud of my wife, Monica. We’ll soon celebrate 26 years of marriage.

I have my own law practice, (unimaginatively named) Gordon Fischer Law Firm.

The mission of my law firm is to promote and maximize charitable giving in Iowa.

I do estate planning, wills, trusts, from basic and simple to exceedingly complex. I also help nonprofits, including several in this room, with a wide variety of legal services.

I enjoy movies and music and reading. I’m always looking for new recommendations for books and films.

And, really, that’s about it.

One minute down. What to say in my two remaining minutes?

Rather than talk more about me, I’d much rather talk about you.

We are all aware the Rotary Foundation does tremendous good in the world. And we are all also well aware the more resources the Rotary Foundation has, the more good the Foundation can do.

So, how to increase giving to Rotary Foundation? Let me suggest two ways.

First, we can all think about including Rotary Foundation in our estate planning – in our wills and trusts. If we all left bequests to Rotary Foundation, and the other causes we hold in our hearts, think about the enormous positive difference we would make.

Second, we can all consider charitable gifts, during lifetime, of noncash assets. For example, you could gift stocks or bonds or mutual funds. Or, you could gift real estate. You could make a gift from your IRA or 401k or other retirement plan.

Sometimes when you consider all your assets, including noncash assets, and your estate plan, it allows you to be a bit more generous. Or even a lot more generous!

How to get more Iowans to consider charitable giving, both through their estate plan, and during lifetime with noncash assets? Obviously, a topic for when we have much, much more time.

But I’m really interested in starting a dialogue on these subjects. And I’d suggest a good first step — I’m doing a workshop on the topics of estate planning and charitable giving, there are flyers at your tables.

Monday, April 25, from 2:00 to 3:30.

Iowa City Senior Center.

Free and open to all.

I promise the workshop will be interesting and informative and well worth your time.

In conclusion, it’s a great honor to be a Rotarian. Thank you all for your time and attention.




Monday, April 25, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Iowa City Senior Center

28 S. Linn Street


– Why you need a will

– 7 most common estate planning mistakes

– 5 easy ways to super charge charitable giving

Please register by emailing
or calling 319-356-5220

Thank you to sponsors:

Community Foundation of Johnson County

Elder Services, Inc.

Friends of the Animal Center Foundation

Friends of The Center

Gordon Fischer is an Iowa lawyer with more than 20 years experience.
The mission of his law firm is to promote and maximize charitable giving.

Reach out any time — Gordon’s email is and his cell phone is 515-371-6077.

Come one, come all! 🙂



Pull up a bar stool. Let’s talk about the craft beer movement and what it can teach your fave charity.

Back in the day, there were, like, three kinds of beers. In fact, one of the most famous advertising campaigns of all times – “tastes great, less filling!” – itself implied there were really just two types of beers.

Then came the craft beer movement. I’m not sure whether craft beers were a response to consumers, or whether craft beers created a demand; presumably both. In any case, now a place like, say, Exile Brewing in Des Moines, itself has more than twenty-five beers (this based on an informal count from Exile’s robust website).

Now any retail establishment which sells beer must offer lots and lots of different kinds of beer. Any retail establishment which isn’t able to offer its customers wide variety risks irrelevance, or worse.

Nonprofits depend on the generosity of donors. Donors’ views have changed, however. Donors expect – indeed, demand – the opportunity to use many different options to assist their favorite charities. No longer can nonprofits simply ask folks to pony up cash, or just accept credit cards. Now, donors want to be able to converse with their fave charity and discuss using their whole portfolio.

Nonprofits need to be able to accept, and intelligently discuss, gifting of many different types of noncash assets, including:

  1. Securities
  2. Real estate
  3. Tangible personal property
  4. Gifts of grain
  5. Life insurance
  6. Retirement benefits

Charities also need to be able to discuss different tools and techniques, including wills, trusts, and estates and estate planning, as well as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts.

A nonprofit which doesn’t offer its supporters a wide variety of giving options risks irrelevance. Or even worse fates!

So, how does your fave nonprofit stack up with charitable giving tools and techniques? What questions do you have or what issues do you face?

Email me anytime at I’d love to hear from you.