Professional Advisors Transform Family Philanthropy

One woman with dark, grey hair and white blouse stands outside smiling.
Paula Knott, Four Pillars Financial Planning Group

What does a former Major League Baseball player, family philanthropy, and financial services all have in common? Meet Paula Knott and her son Jon Knott with Four Pillars Financial Planning Group, a dynamic mother-son duo who are transforming charitable giving right here in the Sarasota County area. 

One man stands outside with glasses, brown hair, and blue shirt.
Jon Knott, Four Pillars Financial Planning Group

After 12 years working with the Coast Guard, Paula decided to join her father’s team as a financial advisor, and she became passionate about giving back. Her son, Jon, is now a third-generation financial advisor who played Major League Baseball before joining his mom full-time in 2009. After being introduced to Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) years back and discovering the opportunity to continue managing donor’s funds, Paula opened her own donor advised fund and began referring clients, encouraging them to do the same. Jon now has the same passion, and along with years of referrals and mutual clients, he also donates to his own donor advised fund. Even their cousin, Johnny Knott, also works with them at Four Pillars, a true example of family philanthropy intertwined with charitable services. 

We sat down with the inspirational mother-son duo to learn more. Jon shared, “We are creating legacies for people and a lot of times these are generational legacies for clients, their children, and grandchildren. That same magic happens with Gulf Coast. Someone has a meaningful idea and wants to support a nonprofit organization doing work in their area of interest. As we work on their portfolios, we see that their idea is happening exponentially more than they thought. The power of perpetual giving is more impactful than one can describe.” 

CJ Bannister, philanthropic advisor at Gulf Coast who has worked with the Knott’s for many years shares, “Working with Jon, Paula, and the entire team at Four Pillars has been an incredible experience. The way they meld charitable giving services with their own family philanthropy is unique and impactful for our donors and our community. We are grateful to have them as part of our Gulf Coast family." 

One woman smiles in front of wood wall with black suit.
Philanthropic Advisor CJ Bannister

Paula and Jon both acknowledged that Gulf Coast has a pulse on emerging opportunities in our region and works on scalable solutions to address them. "Our favorite clients have worked with Gulf Coast in this three-way collaboration that keeps us going. We know we have a good trajectory and are doing powerful things for our community through Gulf Coast,” said Jon. 

Our Philanthropy Team at Gulf Coast Community Foundation works with Professional Advisors to achieve client’s unique charitable goals. Paula and her son Jon are the perfect example of how Gulf Coast collaborates with Professional Advisors to strengthen charitable giving, as they are involved with Gulf Coast on a philanthropic level and as trusted financial advisors. 

Inspired to give back charitably? Click here to learn all the ways you can make a transformative difference through Gulf Coast. 


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