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Giving Back

How Your Time, Treasure and Talent can Make a Big Difference

The holiday season is upon us, and many of us are looking for ways to give back to the community. Dan Thompson, CFP, regional president of First Western Trust, Arizona and California, shares that giving back with your “time, treasure and talent” through the holiday season and year-round can benefit not only the giver but the community at large.


When many people think of the concept of giving back, they think about volunteering for a local nonprofit or cause.

“I’ve had the opportunity to serve on a number of committees and have helped nonprofits with financial advice over the years,” Dan says.

For example, he shares that he has been on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale since 2008.

Between work, family and other commitments, time can often be limited. Many workplaces though, First Western included, support their associates being involved in the community and charities of their choice.

“At First Western, we encourage and support associates at all levels to get involved and stay involved in local nonprofits—for example, if they need financial support to join a board or to support an event that an associate is passionate about, we often help with that,” Dan says. “We also offer associates the ability to take some time away from the office if needed for nonprofit activities.”

“I can’t think of a local nonprofit that couldn’t benefit from the gift of time,” he adds.


During this time of year, many look to make financial or in-kind (material) donations to charities that support causes close to their hearts. As a financial expert, Dan notes that you don’t have to have a lot of money to make a big difference.

Many local qualifying nonprofits benefit from the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. This type of tax credit allows taxpayers to make charitable contributions to their nonprofits of choice and receive reductions in their state tax liabilities, according to the Arizona Department of Revenue.

Also, many nonprofits have benefactors that will match donation amounts—for example, you give $25, and they match $25, for a total of a $50 donation.

Oftentimes, it may be beneficial to contact an expert about the best way to maximize your charitable giving.

“At First Western, we have financial planners who can help those who wish to support philanthropic causes figure out the best way to do so,” Dan explains. “For example, you can give a gift of stock as opposed to cash, or set up charitable donations throughout the year, rather than a single donation at year-end.”


One vital way to make a difference is with your professional expertise—and often companies will support that. For instance, Dan notes that with a career in the financial industry, a lot of his volunteering for nonprofits centers around finance committees and expertise.

“The financial services world touches everybody,” he says. “At First Western, our mission goes well beyond providing banking-related services; we work hard to support all of the communities that we are a part of because those are the communities we live in and the communities that support us.”

So, whatever your talent is, Dan suggests taking that talent and research where it can benefit a cause you’re passionate about.

“Giving back is emotionally impactful; it helps you to dig in and really make a difference,” he adds.

To learn more about First Western and how they impact the communities they’re a part of, visit