As advisors work with their clients to help them achieve philanthropic goals, they may encounter activities that they would rather not become involved in, or that lie beyond their expertise.
In part one of a two-part series, Calvin Edwards of Calvin Edwards Consulting, a philanthropic consulting firm, discussed what you and your clients should do regarding philanthropy. In part two below, Edwards offers some suggestions on when financial advisors might want to turn the process over to an expert, as well as guidance on what advisors should not do in the charitable planning process.
Taking action based on their understanding of the client’s philanthropic profile. While financial advisors may know their clients well enough to know their passions, particularly if they have had conversations about charitable goals, they may not know enough to help clients choose the right venue for giving. You may understand how important giving is to your client, but still not be able to choose the best recipient for his generosity.
This is an area in which advisors are not likely to have the depth of background that will enable them to take appropriate actions based on the client’s preferred charitable sector, geography, and organization or gift type. They also might not be sufficiently acquainted with the reasons clients are driven to give, their past giving history or preferred degree of involvement in the causes they support—particularly if it affects their overall financial planning.
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Making sure husband and wife are on the same page regarding charitable giving. Edwards says that spouses are often at very different places in their approach to philanthropy, even if they both regard it as important and something that they want to do. Getting both to a place of reasonable agreement, whether on amounts, charities, or scheduling of gifts, may be more than an advisor wants to be involved in.