Donor Advising

Concierge Services for Philanthropy

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Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.

– Thomas Alva Edison


Wealth Creators

People who had an idea and made it into a business. Wealth creators think differently than their children, or grandchildren, or professional foundation staff. They love a challenge. They’re more interested in solving a problem than winning a popularity contest. They keep score. And they hate to lose.

World Changers

People who had a vision of how to improve the world – and built a business around doing so. To become wealthy is to find ways to help people and have them pay you for the privilege. Our clients have already made the world a better place through their businesses. Now they want to continue through their philanthropy.


People who are willing to take chances, accept risks, and try new things. They want their philanthropy to shift paradigms, not move the needle. Our clients are looking for results, not recognition, although they may get both.

About Us

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

– Andrew Carnegie


We have participated in hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions and been involved in projects in dozens of countries and at more than 75 universities and colleges across the country. We’ve seen the good and the bad of the philanthropic world.


More than 25 years’ experience in philanthropy and the non-profit world. While we are happy to work with clients on one-time projects – such as developing and negotiating tricky legacy gifts to major institutions – our goal is to work with a few, select clients in an ongoing way. We prefer to establish long-term relationships with donors and their families and to help them assure donor intent over the life cycle of a foundation or giving program.


We believe deeply in donor intent. We only work with clients with whom we have shared values. But our role is to understand the particulars of your values, your goals, and your dreams; to internalize them; and to assure that they are preserved and achieved.

Fred Fransen, Ph.D.

Fred is a national authority on philanthropy and a thought leader in the field of philanthropic advising. He has written for, or been quoted in, papers in 33 states, reaching an audience of more than 50 million readers, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. Fred specializes in higher education projects and is involved in numerous initiatives related to the transition to digital learning, as well as the application of technology to education around the world. He received his Ph.D. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago in 1996.

Angelika Quitschke, Th.M.

Angelika has extensive experience in non-profit accounting, due diligence, and compliance. Before she began working on the donor side of the non-profit world, she held various positions in direct service organizations including retirement and group homes, educational programs for dual-diagnosed youth and adults, and home health services. She has an administration/bookkeeping degree from Germany (Wirtschaftskaufmann), and a Th.M. in Theological Ethics from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.

Getting Started

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our clients come to us at various stages of the development of their philanthropic giving. We can add value at any stage, from participating in setting up your estate plan, to developing and negotiating a major gift. We can work in the shadows, assisting your other trusted advisors, or we can be the face of your philanthropy, allowing you to preserve your privacy and anonymity. In particular, we specialize in:

Education & Planning

Drawing on our experience and observations over a career in philanthropy, we can help you create a structure and timetable to maximize the impact of your giving.

Due Diligence & Logistics

Doing philanthropy right can be a lot of work. We can provide much of the investigation and oversight – the due diligence – necessary to assure that you are getting a good return on your investments. And if you have an interest in international giving and want to be personally involved, we have a lifetime of experience in the logistics of travel, including helping maximize your health and safety while traveling abroad.

Project Development & Implementation

Successful grant-making involves more than just writing checks. By combining our experience in grant-making with yours in business, we can often create projects that stretch the imagination of recipient organizations. Or we can work on your behalf to launch a new one when no suitable partner shares your vision.

Foundation & Grant Management

One of the surprises many philanthropists experience is the burden of managing their family foundations. On the one hand, you need highly experienced and knowledgeable staff. But on the other hand, there isn’t a huge volume of work except at certain times of the year. We can help. By outsourcing the management of your family foundation, we can provide you with the highest level of experience, while eliminating the cost of managing employees week-in, week-out.


To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large, and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.

– Aristotle

Doing philanthropy right requires the same care and attention as building and managing a business. And without the bottom line of a profit and loss statement, it can be a lot more difficult to evaluate. Working with a top philanthropy advisor reduces the burden for you, allowing you to enjoy the fruits of your success.

Donor Advising will provide you with highly personalized philanthropy services specifically tailored to meet your needs. We offer you the benefit of the best, most experienced philanthropic advising in the country, without the hassle and burden of managing employees.

Donor Advising can manage all aspects of your philanthropy, or only help where you need it. At a minimum, you will still be responsible for final decision-making about grants and investment policies, but you will decide the level of detail you want us to oversee.

Because Donor Advising’s services are customized to your needs and aspirations, we find it best to develop a proposal after beginning to understand the particulars of your situation. For initial planning and education or simply to review documents, we are happy to work on an hourly basis.

For longer, deeper relationships, we find a flat fee based on the size and volume of your giving works better. In any case, we guarantee that hiring us will cost you less than managing your philanthropy on your own. Both in terms of administration costs, and, more importantly, by helping you avoid mistakes.


Philanthropy Daily

Starting in June 2010, Fransen became a Contributor at the new Online news site, His blog post can be…

Conscience Capitalism

Philanthropy Roundtable "Conscience Capitalism" Fall/October 2009 Fransen's review of "Be the Solution" by Michael Strong with John Mackey is supportive…

Additional Articles

Contact Us

Donor Advising

8520 Allison Pointe Blvd., Suite 220
Indianapolis, IN 46250


Donor Advising, Research & Educational Services, LLC

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