Estate Planning and Charitable Giving: The Basics

A seminar presented by Gordon Fischer Law Firm, P.C.
When: Monday, January 25, 2016 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Iowa City Senior Center, 28 S. Linn Street, Iowa City, Room 208

–Free and open to the public– 

Gordon Fischer will lead the group in three discussions:

  • Why you need a will and estate plan
  • 7 most common estate-planning mistakes
  • 5 easy ways to super charge your charitable giving

Please register by simply emailing name(s) to: or by calling 319-356-5220

A big shout out and thank you to the following sponsors:

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 in Iowa. Reach out any time — email is and phone is 515-371-6077.


***BREAKING NEWS: The IRA Charitable Rollover has been passed by Congress, and signed into law by President Obama. Click HERE now for more information and an extended article.

The IRA Charitable Rollover is permanent law!

Friday, December 18th, 2015, was a historic day in American philanthropy. Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the IRA Charitable Rollover law. This law presents huge opportunities for nonprofits and the donors who fund them.

What does this mean?

The IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals aged 701⁄2 and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRAs directly to charities, tax-free.

I break it all down for you.

Learn all about the IRA Charitable Rollover law, with an extended article and video, including case studies.

Sign up now for free and instant access! Click HERE now for more information and an extended article.


Today’s U.S. Supreme Court case

The United States Supreme Court ruled today, by an 8-1 margin, for an expansive reading of antidiscrimination law, holding Abercrombie & Fitch can be sued for failing to hire a Muslim woman who came to a job interview wearing a headscarf.

It matters not whether the fashion retailer had actual knowledge that applicant Samantha Elauf was Muslim, or even whether she revealed her religion, Justice Scalia wrote in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch. Employers can be liable under the federal antidiscrimination law [“Title VII”] for failing to accommodate a religious practice because they suspect, or should suspect, it might be an issue.

You can read the Court’s full decision here.

Does this case also apply to nonprofits? Presumably, yes.

Is this an important case?

Yes, I would say this case is important, for three reasons.

Why is this an important case?

First, an 8-1 majority, with Justice Scalia finding for the plaintiff . . . it’s a real statement. The vote was not close and a conservative jurist found for the plaintiff rather than the business.

Second, you can give the case a narrow reading, or a more broad reading, but if you give it a broad reading, the case is surely impactful. Allow me to explain.

Read narrowly, the case casts severe doubt on employers’ “look” policies, the basis of Abercrombie & Fitch’s defense. Not many businesses – sure, some, but I doubt many – will have a “look” policy, asking their employees to have a certain look, as Abercrombie & Fitch did.

Read more broadly, the case stands for the proposition that employers can’t use the“we didn’t know” defense. The question is not what the employer actually knew, but what can the employer reasonably be said to have known.

Third, employment cases often hinge on summary judgment, the procedure at issue here. If the employer-defendant thinks it can make a motion for summary judgment, and kick the case before it gets to a jury, it surely will. If the employer-defendant thinks it doesn’t have a reasonable chance to obtain summary judgment – in other words, the case is more likely to go to a jury – the case is more likely to settle. Today’s Supreme Court decision makes summary judgment overall less likely, at least in federal courts, and thus will increase the chances of businesses offering settlement money.

Cautionary note

Remember, all individuals and businesses are unique and have unique legal issues. This article is presented for informational purposes only, not as legal advice. Consult a legal professional in your state for personal advice.

Gordon Fischer Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to promoting and maximizing charitable giving in Iowa. Gordon can be reached by phone at 515-371-6077; by email at; and through his website at

Please consider Gordon’s request for you to sign up for his free e-newsletter and encourage others to do the same. A quick and easy sign-up is here. Also, please forward the subscription page to any person or group you think might be interested.

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Here’s me on WHO-TV talking about charitable giving and saving on taxes:

Video clip is only about 4 minutes. Watch and enjoy.

Make your gift count! Excellent article, thanks to the Corridor Business Journal. The article does feature Gordon Fischer Law Firm, P.C.

C-c-c-check it out:

The March/April edition of The Iowa Lawyer features an article by Gordon Fischer about charitable giving the smart way.

To see, click right here:

Read now, and please share with me your comments!


Gordon Fischer Law Firm, P.C.

220 Lafayette Street, Suite #120

Iowa City, Iowa 52240



DATE:  02/24/2015


Iowa City – Gordon Fischer, a practicing attorney in Iowa for more than 20 years, has opened his own law firm — Gordon Fischer Law Firm, P.C. — with a focus on charitable giving. Blending his legal experience and service background, Fischer works with nonprofit organizations and donors across the state, addressing their unique challenges and capitalizing on opportunities.

After graduating from the University of Iowa, where he served as a student government leader, Fischer received his law degree, summa cum laude, from Southern Illinois University. After law school, Fischer clerked for the Iowa Court of Appeals. He then joined the Des Moines firm of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor and Fairgrave, P.C. He became a partner and gained a reputation for skilled and conscientious litigation in all areas of law, with a focus on employment. In 2013, Gordon left the firm to become Vice President of Gift Planning Strategies for the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, where he helped donors plan and achieve their philanthropic goals. In 2014, he received the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation from The American College of Financial Services. Fischer serves the community and his profession in a variety of ways, on boards and commissions and as a mentor and hands-on volunteer.

As part of his charitable giving education and outreach efforts, Fischer has a blog and an enewsletter (subscribe). He is also a frequent speaker and trainer at conferences, meetings and other events on a topics related to charitable giving, the nonprofit sector and the law.



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On January 27, Gordon Fischer participated in a Des Moines Register panel on smart charitable giving. The event was hosted by the Register‘s Reader Watchdog, Lee Rood. Read about it here.