A generous contribution, made by Dr. Heather and Mr. Gray Dyer, will support Atrium Health hospitals and teammates working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Established in March of 2020, the Atrium Health Essential Needs Fund ensures healthcare workers are supplied with the necessary medical and safety equipment to respond to the current health crisis. Today, the number of confirmed cases in the state of North Carolina totals more than 16,000.

Dr. and Mr. Dyer shared the importance of being generous, if able to, now more than ever. As the owner of the financial planning firm Dyer & Company, Gray Dyer is passionate about helping his clients maximize their philanthropic giving while managing their investments. Dyer also serves on Atrium Health Foundation’s Professional Advisory Council. Whether through his work or personal life, one thing is clear: Gray Dyer is passionate about philanthropy.

Dr. and Mr. Dyer recently discussed a variety of topics, including philanthropic giving and donor-advised funds, with our team. Read the brief Q & A below:

What motivated you to give to the Atrium Health Essential Needs Fund?

Since the first COVID-19 cases began to show up in North Carolina, we have been concerned for our community. We were distressed to see healthcare systems around the world strained to the breaking point. We hoped our gift would do something to alleviate the pressure on the front lines of this battle.

Why was giving important to you?

We knew that Atrium Health was being bold and innovative in a fast-moving situation. While staying at home was the right thing for most of us to do, we were looking for ways to be more helpful.

With your experience as a CFP, what is your advice to donors right now? In particular, giving from donor-advised funds?

Obviously, nonprofits of all kinds have desperate needs. It’s so important right now to be generous, if you can. Donor-advised funds are such a wonderful philanthropic tool to facilitate that generosity. In short, they can be funded with appreciated assets like stocks or mutual funds. In doing so, donors can avoid capital gains taxes and be eligible for an income tax deduction too, if they itemize.

Once the DAF is funded, the donor can use those funds to make grants to the charities that are important to them. Supporting your favorite nonprofits with a DAF is almost easier than paying bills online. It’s common for DAFs to carry a balance. In fact, some people use them like family foundations. But at times like these, if you do have money in your DAF, it’s worth asking yourself whether that balance can be drawn down to help those in desperate need today.

Please share your professional experience and what you would like known about your firm:

In 2018 I started my own financial planning firm and named it Dyer & Company after my grandfather’s building supply business. My goal was to create a business where I could be a true fiduciary to my clients. I help them navigate the complexity of their finances in a way that lets them cultivate a sense of control and peace of mind. I do that through both fee-based wealth management for some clients and hourly-based financial problem solving for others.

Until recently I worked at my alma mater, Davidson College, helping donors maximize their philanthropic impact through gifts of complex assets. I’ve also had the benefit of working with clients at some big-name firms and have had to navigate everything from the Dot Com Bubble to the situation we’re in now. Times like these are very stressful for all of us, of course. But helping my clients through these difficulties is also a great privilege.

To learn more about making a gift to Atrium Health Foundation using a donor-advised fund, please contact Sara E. Piner, CAP®, Director of Gift Planning: Sara.Piner@atriumhealth.org.