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Create a charitable plan as unique as you are
For more than a century, Northern Trust has helped families make an enduring impact on the community and future generations through strategic philanthropy. If you wish to put your wealth to work in support of a charity or cause, we can be of assistance. Our philanthropic specialists collaborate with you, your family and your advisors to identify, refine and evaluate the many charitable solutions available today. Then, we develop and implement a customized, long-term charitable giving strategy that meets your goals.

Whether you prefer to be involved a lot — or a little — in the day-to-day activities of your charity, we offer skillful, proactive administration, backed by operational support to ensure that your intentions are well met. Our services include:


  • Defining and clarifying goals
  • Developing and evaluating a mission statement
  • Exploring various giving options
  • Consulting with tax and estate planning professionals to implement and maximize giving
  • Defining grant-making guidelines and establishing due diligence procedures
  • Developing procedures for grant distributions, post-grant evaluations and recordkeeping
  • Assisting with board governance policies, procedures and succession planning

Tax Services

  • Annual minimum distribution requirement calculation
  • Tax compliance expertise

Administrative and Operational Support

  • Document review, as appropriate
  • Periodic review and evaluation of gift planning
  • Maintenance of donor information
  • State and federal reporting
  • Grant proposal/request collection and dissemination
  • Grant payments
  • Tax planning, reporting and compliance

Online Services
Northern Trust has transformed traditional online banking into an expansive online wealth management suite for all your accounts, all in one convenient place. Built for ease of use, our online tools accommodate those looking for simplicity as well as those with complex financial portfolios. Advanced technologies allow you to:

  • Manage and track all of your Northern Trust and non-Northern Trust accounts using one ID and password
  • Access tools and resources to help plan philanthropic strategy, to learn more about our Northern Trust Charitable Giving Program and to stay informed about nonprofit organizations through GuideStar
  • Take advantage of powerful reporting capabilities
  • Set up notifications when balances are above or below a threshold you specify or receive alerts to confirm when transactions are complete and when statements, bills and other important documents are available
  • Access your accounts anywhere, anytime — from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone
  • Go paperless for your trust, investment management, custody account statements
Charitable Giving Strategies
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Marguerite Griffin
Our Expert
Marguerite Griffin
National Director of Philanthropic Services
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Marguerite Griffin
Marguerite Griffin
National Director of Philanthropic Services
As national director of philanthropic services, Marguerite is responsible for the delivery and growth of Northern Trust's philanthropic services to Personal Financial Services clients. She specializes in administering charitable trusts and private foundations and counsels clients regarding charitable giving and grant-making practices. Marguerite was most recently a senior trust administrator and relationship manager in the Personal Trust Administration Department where she was responsible for the administration of large, complex trusts for individuals and families, including irrevocable trusts, family limited partnerships, charitable trusts and supporting organizations. Her duties involved working with sophisticated estate plans, sensitive family situations and complex property transfers.

Prior to joining Northern Trust in 1999, Marguerite was a vice president and trust administrator within the private clients division of Bank One (now Chase). She also practiced law as an associate with Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kammholz where she specialized in estate planning, nonprofit organization law, charitable trusts and private foundations.

Marguerite received her bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis, her law degree from Northwestern University School and is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the Chicago Estate Planning Council and is admitted to practice before the Illinois Supreme Court. Marguerite has received recognition from Chicago United as a 2007 Business Leader of Color.

She is an active volunteer, advisor and board member with several charitable and cultural institutions, including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Chicago Community Trust, The Ravinia Festival and the WFMT/WTTW Planned Giving Committee and the Donors Forum.

Marguerite’s areas of specific expertise include:

  • Strategic planning
  • International grantmaking
  • Arts and culture
  • Giving best practices
  • Community foundations
  • Mission-related investing
  • Capital and endowment campaigns
  • Donor relations
  • Fundraising strategies
  • Board governance issues
Engaging the Next Generation of Global Citizens in Family Philanthropy
Successful strategies for engaging the next generation of global citizens in family philanthropy.
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