The elephant is not in the room: How to bring up giving to clients who are not doing it yet
As an advisor, many of your client conversations are quantitative—numbers of dollars for income, expenses, investments, taxes and the like. And while charitable contributions can be part of the mix, many advisors can be reluctant to discuss or initiate the qualitative aspects—the why, purpose or intentionality—behind the giving. But by doing so, you can strengthen your client relationships and benefit the community.
Indeed, charitable giving is a positive force for many clients and therefore is at least an option that every advisor should mention as the advisor fulfills responsibilities to serve the client’s best interests.
Bring charitable giving into the conversation
It’s even important to make charitable giving a periodic topic of conversation among those clients who are not yet philanthropic. Some clients simply may not be aware that charitable dollars are essential to sustain important public services and, according to some opinions, are vitally important to the quality of life in communities across America. To that end, here are some easy conversation starters for you to consider if you’d like to get the charitable ball rolling among clients who are not yet philanthropic and inspire them to consider the many reasons to start giving:
- Are there causes you care about that would benefit from your support, such as expanding educational opportunities or ensuring outdoor parks and spaces are accessible?
- Do you have family or friends who’ve experienced an economic hardship or medical challenge where a nonprofit organization could have helped if it had the funding?
- Do you enjoy exercise or listening to music? Practicing generosity can deliver the same types of physiological benefits as these and other pleasurable activities. Indeed, reasons for giving include: it feels good; giving strengthens personal values; gifts to charity are more impactful than ever; giving promotes generosity among family and friends; and philanthropy builds and strengthens community.
Partner with the Community Foundation
Important for your clients to know is that anyone with a willingness to give can be a philanthropist, and that the Community Foundation is here to help them along their giving journey. From establishing a fund to help a client organize their giving, to helping keep track of charitable gifts, to structuring gifts in the most tax-savvy way, our team can do “the heavy lifting” that we know so often keeps clients’ good intentions from becoming reality. And by helping clients establish a donor advised or other type of fund, we can make their giving as on-demand as routine spending.
At the Community Foundation, we see community needs rise daily. We facilitate solutions by growing philanthropy and connecting donors to the causes they care about, and we’re striving to do even more. This includes doing more to get the word out about the benefits overall of charitable giving that might encourage those who’ve not yet made philanthropy a part of their lives might consider doing so. Thank you for your partnership in that effort! When your clients feel good about their giving, they’ll thank you for showing them the way forward. Please email DonorServices@cfsem.org for more information.