In a conversation with one of my mentor’s, I was referred to as a “personne de confiance“. The acknowledgement arrived at a time when I had taken an intentional ‘pause’ in my professional career to learn more about myself. During the last thirty years, I have been privileged to serve clients who were newly graduated professionals, entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, and families who, like me, wanted a better life for our children.
Through a fortuitous cycle of time, some individuals who enjoyed pioneering success chose to ‘pay it forward’ to community through philanthropy and our paths crossed again. By reconnecting with several families and business-owners, I learned that my creative and curious approach to possibilities, penchant for ‘both and’ rather than ‘either or’, and advocacy for shared best practices, had been rooted in these enduring relationships that transcended time.
Embracing this cherished title and continuing to build trusted relationships is my journey forward.
“With gratitude come three prime ingredients for lifetime growth: connectedness, in that you see yourself as part of something larger; commitment, in that you want to contribute to that larger reality because you see the value of the contributions that other people and things are making; and humility, in that you see yourself as a unique part of the world around you, but not the most important part. When you’re connected, committed, and humble, there’s always more to learn, and you’re open to learn from anything and anyone who might have something to teach you”
– Dan Sullivan and Catherine Nomura, The Laws of Lifetime Growth, pp. 48-49
Designations & Awards
- February 24th, 2022 – STEP Affiliate.
STEP is the worldwide professional association for those advising families across generations, offering training & development, and connectivity to a global network of trust and estate practitioners seeking to grow and share best practices.
- January 9th, 2020 – Master Financial Advisor-Philanthropy (MFA-P™), Graduate with Distinction.
Launched in the fall of 2019 by the Knowledge Bureau in partnership with Spire Philanthropy and the Canadian Association of Gift Planning, this unique accreditation offers seasoned advisors specialized professional credentials to enable high-value planning for individual or family legacies.
- April 11th, 2019 – FRIEND of CAGP Award.
The FRIEND of CAGP Award is the association’s highest honour, to recognize individuals who have exemplified vision, dedication and talent toward the growth and development of strategic charitable gift planning in Canada.
October 2020 – present | Pirbhai Philanthropic Consulting, Founder and Principal.
- As a trusted advisor, I provide independent, customized philanthropic counsel to individual families, private and public family foundations, and the advisors that serve them. In addition to an advanced comprehension of strategic and complex charitable gift planning, proficiency with bequest & estate administration, and a discerning acumen for family philanthropy, I also maintain an adept working knowledge of the legal, accounting, estate, and CRA legislative rules that impact the various asset classes eligible for gift planning in Canada.
August 2006 – August 2019. | Calgary Foundation, Vice President Donor Engagement.
- Recruited to devise, develop and execute a unique donor engagement strategy that informed, inspired and educated donors, donor families and their professional advisors on the philanthropic options that best aligned with their values, desired impact and estate planning for both intervivos and testamentary gifts.
Prior professional history includes Senior Leadership positions with Calgary Health Trust (2004-2006), Calgary Health Region (2001-2003) and Royal Bank Financial Group (1981-2000). A concise resume is available upon request.
- May 2021 – present | Nominated to the National Board of Directors, Canadian Association of Gift Planning.
- November 2019 – present | Nominated to the Board of Trustees for KBF Canada, a Canadian chapter of the global parent under King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels.
- September 1st, 2007 – July 31st, 2020 | Rotary Club of Calgary, Downtown. Member and Donor, Paul Harris Fellow. Committees served included Leadership & Major Gifts.
Every successful philanthropic advising relationship is based on trust. You and your advisor will talk about much more than money. You’ll talk about issues you care about deeply, your personal motivations and even your personal relationships with other family members. You’ll want someone you can trust completely to keep your secrets safe and your best interests at heart.
Good philanthropic advisors quickly understand what inspires their clients and find ways to build on that passion. Conversations with your advisor should leave you feeling hopeful, excited, and always ready to move forward.
Strong philanthropic advisors help you clarify your goals and bring forward bold new ideas to help you move toward them. As with financial advisors, they take the time to understand your tolerance for risk, but they also encourage you to challenge your beliefs and assumptions as you consider your philanthropic investment strategy. At the end of the day, you should find yourself thinking more deeply and making new connections that you may not have made on your own.
Philanthropy is a highly personalized undertaking, and while an advisor may have a general guiding process, she must first and foremost be willing to adapt that process to your needs.
When considering an advisor’s experience, the key is to look for breadth rather than depth. In other words, the more different forms of philanthropy (foundations, donor-advised funds, individual giving, corporate social responsibility giving, impact investing, etc.) in which an advisor has worked, the better.
Your philanthropy will be most effective when your philanthropic advisor is in regular contact with your other advisors. For example, when your philanthropic advisor knows in advance that you’re planning to take a distribution from a family business or that a large gift will be needed in the current year to offset an impending tax liability, she can help you plan your philanthropic investments accordingly. She also can work with your business or investment advisors to ensure that your philanthropic investments work hand-in-hand with your business or market rate ones, so that returns align with your overall vision. Look for a true team player who’s willing to understand and work within the bigger picture.