How to start the charitable conversation with clients

The holidays are here, and as year-end gets closer, generosity across the U.S. increases. Most of these gifts come in the last three weeks of the year. According to sources, 12% of all giving occurs in the last three days of the year. As your clients embrace this spirit of generosity, it offers advisors a perfect chance to start charitable conversations. Advisors who take the initiative to discuss philanthropy discover causes that are deeply important to their clients. They also help their clients strategize their giving so they’re able to make an impact while also maximizing tax benefits. 

Because it’s not always easy to start conversations around charitable giving, we put together a few topics to help advisors navigate philanthropic discussions with clients and their families.  

Why now a good time to encourage clients to donate to charities they care about 

While the calendar year is ending, financial planning for the upcoming year is just beginning. This time of year offers a couple of opportunities for advisors to work with clients on their philanthropic goals:  

1. At year-end, communities turn their focus on giving back to those in need. This makes it the perfect time  to encourage your clients to make charitable donations.  

2. While reflecting on the previous year and planning for the next, clients will undoubtedly have conversations with financial and tax professionals about where their assets are kept; and it’s important to ensure you are involved in those important discussions.  

The benefit of making charitable efforts multi-generational 

As families come together during the holidays, it’s the perfect time for advisors to encourage their clients who use a giving vehicle, like a donor-advised fund, to add a grant successor to their account. Advisors can discuss the opportunities their clients have to leave a philanthropic legacy. There are many smart giving options that allow donors to connect with future generations and discuss the importance of charitable giving.  

The named successors will gain hands-on experience around the governance and grantmaking skills they will one day need to assume their leadership role in the giving vehicle. Leveraging this responsibility will inspire children and grandchildren to actively participate in their family’s charitable donations, which in turn will encourage them to continue their relative’s legacy for years to come.  

Encourage clients to involve those who are close to them in their philanthropic efforts 

With all the innovations in charitable giving in the past decade, there is now an array of options advisors can offer clients that incorporate loved ones into their philanthropy. From a high level, DAFs are the fastest -growing charitable vehicle. No doubt this has a lot to do with the fact that they provide donors with enhanced management capabilities so they’re able to recommend where and when their donations allowing them to include their friends and family into decisions around their charitable giving. 

Is a donor-advised fund the right choice for your client?​

Get the answers to the most frequently asked questions about donor-advised funds in our free eBook — 12 Questions to Ask Before Setting Up a Donor-Advised Fund.