Fidelity Charitable on Tuesday introduced a LinkedIn group as a resource for professional advisors involved in charitable planning.
The new group, called The Giving Strategies Network, is designed to provide comments and discussion among participants, educational content and viewpoints on charitable planning by subject matter experts, according to a statement. As a LinkedIn group, it also enables advisors to connect with their professional peers.
The initiative comes at a time when donors are increasingly seeking professional advice in planning their charitable giving. Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity, said it had experienced about a fourfold increase in contribution dollars from donors associated with advisors over the past four years, representing more than 55% of the organization’s total contributions during this period.
The Giving Strategies Network is accessible to invited participants who advise clients on charitable giving, including wealth managers, CPAs and attorneys, the statement said. Advisors can request access to the group at http://linkd.in/thegivingstrategiesnetwork.
“This initiative complements our in-person efforts and dedicated advisor service team, allowing advisors multiple ways to access expert resources on charitable planning that can help them add value to their conversations with clients,” Fidelity Charitable’s president Sarah Libbey said in the statement.
In a separate announcement, Fidelity Charitable reported record-breaking first-quarter giving results. Donors recommended some 92,000 grants totaling $323 million through March 31, up more than 6% and 10%, respectively, over the first quarter of 201l.
At the same time, incoming contributions increased by 38% from the same period, resulting in more than $372 million in new charitable dollars.
Fidelity Charitable said these results came on the heels of its strongest-ever year of giving in 2011. “Donors are continuing to give in record amounts and are increasingly utilizing their advisors to manage their contributions through our Charitable Investment Advisor Program,” Libbey said. “This is an exciting trend that points to the value advisors bring to the charitable planning discussion.”