OUR YEARS AGO, a Pittsburgh Foundation donor who wishes to be anonymous listed a South Dakota educational organization as one of three charities to benefit from her estate. Lindsay Aroesty, the Foundation’s director of donor services, followed the standard verification and due diligence process, one of many services offered to fund holders. She discovered that the South Dakota “school” wasn’t a charity at all. The organization was writing fake letters from students to unsuspecting donors. Once apprised of the situation, the grateful donor asked Aroesty to change her memorandum of understanding to remove the fraudulent organization and replace it with a Pittsburgh animal welfare group. “My client has worked hard for her money and trusts The Pittsburgh Foundation wholeheartedly to make sure her funds go where they should go and that they are spent in the way she wants them to be spent,” says Tracy Zihmer, the Pittsburgh attorney and professional advisor who has had the donor as a client for five years. Zihmer shared this story as a testament to the level of service the Foundation supplies her clients. “Lindsay’s work was a great eye-opener for my client about the level of protection the Foundation offers,” she says. That experience cemented Zihmer’s confidence in the Foundation as a trusted partner in her clients’ charitable giving. “I’ve had a behind-the-scenes view with all of the estate administration I’ve done, and seeing how seriously everyone at The Pittsburgh Foundation approaches their work is reassuring,” she says. “I’ve been in meetings where six Foundation staff are in the room working with the client to fulfill their wishes, making sure everything’s handled properly.” Zihmer has been impressed with the passion of the Development and Donor Services staff — how interested they are in the clients’ philanthropic interests and what they want to achieve. T H E P I T T S B U R G H F O U N D AT I O N 1 2 F O R U M Attorney and professional advisorTracy Zihmer’s dedication to charitable giving is rooted in her personal commitment to help others. F