Your clients already have lawyers, accountants and investment advisors. For many of them – especially those with complex business needs – each advisor plays an important role on the professional “team.” But many clients (and advisors!) benefit enormously from the addition of one or more players to the roster.
A Philanthropic Advisor has skills that complement those of the other professionals who provide advice on legal, tax and financial matters. Particularly if your clients already give to charity (but even if they don’t), connecting with a Philanthropic Advisor at Greater Toledo Community Foundation can help them create a thoughtful, tax-smart giving plan to make a meaningful impact on the causes they care about.
Here are six reasons to team up with a Philanthropic Advisor:
1. They know the options. Charitable giving can be a complex field. Philanthropic Advisors are well-versed in the various giving vehicles and strategies that your clients may want to consider. Should they establish a family foundation or a Donor Advised Fund (or both)? A Charitable Remainder Trust or a Charitable Lead Trust? Philanthropic Advisors can help your clients evaluate their options and make smart, informed decisions.
2. They know the causes. In contrast to many financial service firms that offer Donor Advised Funds, community foundations are staffed with experts who can provide your clients with information about the issues and organizations they’re interested in supporting. Whether they’re passionate about education or environmental conservation, a Philanthropic Advisor can help your clients vet nonprofits and make thoughtful choices about their giving.
3. They know the community. Philanthropic Advisors at community foundations are hooked into the local scene. Through one-on-one meetings, donor events and site visits to nonprofits, they can help your clients connect with local organizations that are doing innovative work, as well as like-minded donors and community leaders. In addition to forging useful social connections, your clients may discover opportunities to join more structured networks, such as funder collaboratives that team up to address specific community needs.
4. They’re crackerjack goal-setters. Many philanthropists say that writing checks is easy. What’s harder, they say, is crafting a giving plan that actually reflects their dreams for achieving positive change in the community. Philanthropic Advisors are experienced at helping people articulate their personal values and how those values influence their philanthropic goals. They can help your clients create a values statement for their giving, set a budget, and choose strategies that are both impactful and personally satisfying.
5. They help families give together. “Giving back” often means more than one donation, one day spent volunteering, or one decision to open a charitable fund. For many people, it’s a journey with many phases that they travel with relatives and loved ones. Philanthropic Advisors are skilled at facilitating the conversations (and let’s face it – talking about money isn’t always easy!) that help families come together to reflect, learn and make decisions as philanthropists.
6. They keep philanthropy on the front burner. Between jobs, kids, volunteer obligations and more, many people find that organizing their charitable contributions is a task that somehow never gets done. Philanthropic Advisors can help, making it easy for your clients to stay on top of their to-do lists.
Written by Bill Sternberg Philanthropic Advisor The Minneapolis Foundation