Advisor Spotlight

The Community Foundation is here to help professional advisors better serve their clients with charitable goals. The Foundation can develop plans that fit clients’ financial needs and philanthropic passions. In this section, we like to shine a spotlight on advisors who have partnered with their clients and the Community Foundation to strengthen our region through philanthropy.


Charlie Ruff

Cobblestone Capital Advisors

Involved with the Community Foundation since 2018


How Charlie’s work fuels the power of community:

Charlie Ruff and his wife Ginger are active volunteers for many charitable causes, but reached an age where they wanted a more comprehensive solution to step up their impact. “Giving away time and money is easy,” Charlie shared, “making a difference is much harder.” He craved a longer-term strategy for their giving and turned to the Community Foundation for help. The Ruffs opened a small fund in early 2024 to leverage the Foundation’s resources and help solve problems in their community.

Charlie and Ginger are very intentional about exposing their children to charity. Whether wrapping gifts for local kids in need, packing diapers for the Rochester diaper bank, or volunteering with Home Start Hope, Charlie and Ginger’s daughters are already active volunteers. Establishing a fund with the Foundation helps make philanthropy a focal point in their home and passes on this core family value. “By making it a part of our regular lives, we’re teaching our kids about the impact of their actions on the community.”

A senior portfolio manager at Cobblestone Capital Advisors, Charlie was also able to align his charitable passions with his own financial planning knowledge. “Seeding a fund with appreciated stock provides the freedom to harvest gains and support charitable causes over multiple years.” (Check out these simplified scenarios so your clients can be as savvy as Charlie when it comes to gifts of appreciated stock.)

Charlie has been instrumental in helping the Community Foundation broaden outreach to professional advisors across generations. He wants people to view the Foundation as an accessible resource for the entire community. To help highlight the Community Foundation’s broad appeal, he founded the Summer Social in partnership with the CFA Society Rochester. The Summer Social, now in its sixth year, brings together a variety of professionals for a laid-back (and PowerPoint-free) networking opportunity.

If you are interested in attending the social on Thursday, August 15 at 4:30 pm at Black Button Distilling, please email Zakiya Tripp.

Charlie’s advice for client conversations:
“It’s never too early or too late to start thinking about a plan. Philanthropy discussions should be proactive, not reactive… Whether spurred by charitable passions or an interest in managing taxes, this is an important conversation to have.”

Charlie’s many roles in the community:
Charlie is an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher University, where he mentors undergraduate finance students. He is a current member and past chair of the Professional Advisor Liaison Committee at the Community Foundation. He is also a past president of CFA Society Rochester and is active in the Rochester running community.


Charlie Ruff, his wife, and two children in formal attire.

Published May 2024