Trusted Advisors

 

 

This year has been incredibly full and summer just flew by! Now as we enter fall, the pace may slow, a bit. And many of us will turn our thoughts to year-end giving. I hope you will take time out of your schedule to give some dedicated thought to how your talent, time, treasure, or ties can make a difference at this time of year and in the year ahead.

Meanwhile, see below for a few exciting developments at Enlightened Philanthropy. Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting on family philanthropy and facilitating conversations with individuals to help them determine their own vision for giving. I’ve also been collaborating with colleagues in Canada!

Finally, I’m happy to share that I’ll be on maternity leave from October 9 through January 4, 2016. I look forward to connecting with you in the New Year. Please keep Enlightened Philanthropy in mind as you make plans for 2016. I look forward to supporting you in your giving aspirations in the future.

Wishing you all a joyous fall and holiday season ahead! Happy giving!

Deborah Goldstein
831-402-1724

www.enlightenedphilanthropy.com
facebook.com/enlightenedphilanthropy
@dagphilanthropy

Presentations for Colleagues and Philanthropists

Highlights from recent presentations:

  • In August, I teamed with Justin Miller of BNY Mellon in San Francisco to present on Family Philanthropy: What Works and What Doesn’t at the Annual Rendezvous in Colorado, hosted by the Purposeful Planning Institute. We had a full room and great conversation as the group talked through a couple different scenarios in family philanthropy and how best to address them. Thanks to those of you who attended!
  • In September, I explored family philanthropy further with Lisa Parker, President and Executive Director of The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation, in a teleconference for the Purposeful Planning Institute. If you missed it, feel free to listen in here. Lisa has vast experience in this field and shared some wonderful insights during our time together.
  • I also facilitated conversations with two very different groups about their values, interests, and vision for giving. The first was a group of Millenials (twenty-somethings) brought together for a weekend retreat by the Moishe House. The second was a group of Baby Boomer clients of a local financial planning firm. I so enjoy seeing how different generations respond to this activity. It’s enlightening for all involved!

Philanthropic Summit Attracts Diverse Group of Professionals

Prior to the Rendezvous, I helped facilitate a Philanthropic Summit, hosted by the Purposeful Planning Institute, and attended by colleagues from around the country. Our goal was to come up with some concrete ways to address the gap between trusted advisors and their clients in their perception of the philanthropic conversation, a topic I wrote about in a previous blog post. To learn more about the day, read my colleague’s blog post. Stay tuned for more developments from this gathering.

Philanthropy Workshops for Women in Canada

I’m also excited to announce a partnership with Dexterity Consulting of Canada and TD Wealth. Throughout November, Dexterity Consulting will offer workshops for women in philanthropy in four major cities in Canada to guide them in the development of a strategic giving plan. Enlightened Philanthropy is pleased to support this effort through content and resource development. Click here to learn more and register.

 

Resource Highlight—Everyone can be a philanthropist!

With everything else that’s going on, it’s easy to forget about past successes. However, this fall, I’m taking a little time to reflect on all the hard work that went into preparing for my TEDx talk last October at Santa Catalina School. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch it, please do so today. My nephew, who recently entered high school, told me he shared it with his social studies class! Is there someone you know who needs to be inspired in their giving? If so, please share.

 

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From today’s announcement by the Planned Giving Design Center:

“The Planned Giving Design Center is pleased to welcome new contributing author, Deborah Goldstein. Deborah Goldstein, founder of Enlightened Philanthropy, is dedicated to guiding the next generation in giving. Drawing from more than fifteen years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management, she engages clients in a tailor-made, intuitive process that reveals their authentic motivation and desire to give.

Helping her clients strategize, problem solve, and align their values and interests with appropriate options culminates in an attainable Philanthropy Roadmap. Goldstein bridges the gap between different ages, building meaningful communication and engendering constructive action. As part of her multi-generational practice, she particularly focuses on advising youth as they navigate the world of philanthropy. Goldstein is also the creator of Philanthropy Camp for Women.

Join Deborah’s group to receive all of her thinking. Just click here to go to Deborah’s group and then click JOIN in the right side menu of her page.”

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The Planned Giving Design Center “is a virtual publishing company that was founded in 1998 to help create collaborative relationships between charitable and not-for-profit organizations and members of the professional advisory communities.” They do this by offering “the largest body of content found anywhere on the Internet on the subject of charitable gift planning” and planning tools for advisors and gift planners.

Read my first article on giving, the holidays, and happiness here. Enjoy the tips for conversation during Thanksgiving.

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Fall in Love with Giving!

September 10, 2014

This summer I’ve been thinking about communities. What groups am I a part of and what role do I play in them? When does a group start to feel like a community? It goes beyond geography and place. It’s about a sense of connection and belonging. Often, it offers an opportunity to give.

How many communities are you a part of? How are you giving in each of them? Are you giving time, talent, treasure, or ties (your network of colleagues or friends)?

Professionally, I’m involved in various organizations such as the Purposeful Planning Institute, 21/64, Professional Women’s Network of the Monterey Peninsula, and a cadre of youth group advisors. Personally, I take part in a photography group, yoga community, Women’s Wealth Group, and Jewish community. And this is just a taste!

My engagement with the Jewish community has me considering how we contribute. When giving in a group setting, or even discussing it, we enrich our lives in a different way than when we give as individuals. Here on the Monterey Peninsula, every August, Congregation Beth Israel puts on a Jewish Food Festival to introduce others to our cuisine, customs, and traditions and as a fundraiser. While this is only a one-day event, people work tirelessly throughout the year to pull it off. I always look forward to baking during the summer and volunteering the weekend of the event. This is an amazing example of people coming together to give. We each contribute in a way that feels meaningful to us.

I’m happy to give back in other ways too, as you’ll learn in this issue.

Take some time to think about how you contribute to the communities you participate in. Remember why you became a part of them and maybe you’ll fall in love with giving all over again, just like I do every year.

Deborah Goldstein

831-373-3406

Deborah Goldstein Appointed Co-Dean of Philanthropy

 

It is a pleasure to have been selected as the Purposeful Planning Institute’s Co-Dean of Philanthropy. Sharing this appointment is my wonderful colleague, Bruce DeBoskey, of The DeBoskey Group. Bruce is a fellow 21/64 trainer and a Denver-based philanthropic strategist. We look forward to working collaboratively to provide relevant information, resources, and guidance in best practices in philanthropy for our fellow PPI members.

The Purposeful Planning Institute is a “learning center for professionals interested in mastering the Purposeful Planning process, exploring best practices for legacy families and families in business as well as cutting edge processes and techniques.”

Philanthropy Camp for Women Returns Oct. 2!

 

The fall session of Philanthropy Camp for Women is fast approaching. We will be returning to the historic Asilomar Conference Grounds starting Thursday, October 2 at 6 pm. Have you reserved your place?

Everyone can be a philanthropist! Philanthropy Camp for Women is a great opportunity to explore your philosophy of giving and learn how you can give in alignment with your values. Participants in the first session commented on how invaluable it was to be on this journey with others. It helped open their minds to other perspectives, allowed them to clarify their own giving, and brought peace of mind about their giving.

During this six-week course, participants will discover how to make a difference, learn how to give in a meaningful way, and re-engage with the giving experience!

Register today! Early bird pricing ends September 20.

Advisors: Interested in offering this unique experience for your clients? Click here to read about a streamlined two-day retreat format that could be perfect for you.

TEDxSantaCatalinaSchool: Matters of the Heart

 

It is a delight and honor to have been invited to speak at the upcoming TEDx event at Santa Catalina School in Monterey on October 17th. This year’s theme, “Matters of the Heart,” is a perfect opportunity to launch a conversation on philanthropy. I look forward to speaking to this group of upper class young women who are already shining leaders in our community. They hope to offer a live-stream, so stay tuned to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest. I’ll also share a link to the video in an upcoming newsletter.

Resource Highlight–Engaging the Family in Your Philanthropy

 

I recently picked up this resource from Foundation Source, “the nation’s largest provider of support and advisory services for private foundations.” Their brief pamphlet, Engaging the Family in Your Philanthropy, highlights why families create foundations and how they often develop two missions—one external, the other internal. It is this latter mission that holds such value for any family. How might a foundation increase family engagement or help to carry on family traditions? For each family it will be different. Take some time to read the advice and examples from Foundation Source clients. We all can learn from families engaging in philanthropy together.

How will you and your family fall in love with giving?

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From today’s announcement by the Purposeful Planning Institute:

“We are pleased to announce that Deborah Goldstein and Bruce DeBoskey have been appointed as co-Deans of Philanthropy.

Philanthropy is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used not only to create lasting positive change in our communities and in the world but also within our own families. Family philanthropy empowers beneficiaries and offsets the fear and danger of entitlement. PPI strives to bring to light new, innovative and cutting edge ideas in Philanthropy and as the Deans of Philanthropy, Deborah and Bruce will work collaboratively to provide relevant information, resources and guidance in Best Practices in Philanthropy for PPI members and the families we serve. These resources will be made available via the PPI website, through our weekly teleconferences, and at events such as the Philanthropic Summit and the annual Rendezvous.

Deborah GoldsteinDeborah Goldstein, founder of Enlightened Philanthropy, is dedicated to guiding the next generation in giving. Drawing from more than fifteen years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management, she engages clients in a tailor-made, intuitive process that reveals their authentic motivation and desire to give. Helping her clients strategize, problem solve, and align their values/interests with appropriate options culminates in an attainable Philanthropy Roadmap. Goldstein bridges the gap between different ages, building meaningful communication and engendering constructive action. As part of her multi-generational practice, she particularly focuses on advising youth as they navigate the world of philanthropy. Deborah is also the creator of Philanthropy Camp for Women.

Goldstein holds a BA in Biology from Wittenberg University and a Master’s Degree in Marine Policy with a Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware. She is a 21/64-certified consultant.

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 3.41.15 PMBruce DeBoskey, J.D., is a Colorado-based Philanthropic Strategist with The DeBoskey Group, a consulting practice he founded to help individuals and families, businesses and foundations design and implement thoughtful philanthropic strategies and actionable plans.

He writes a regular monthly column “On Philanthropy” which appears in the Business Section of the Sunday Denver Post, is a Teaching Fellow at the Boston College Center on Corporate Citizenship, teaching “Corporate Giving: A 21st Century Approach,” and is a Certified 21/64 Trainer.

Bruce served for nearly 9 years as the Anti-Defamation League’s Mountain States Regional Director, and for 25 years before that, as a Colorado trial lawyer. He holds an B.A.. from Indiana University and received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

PPI Deans play a significant role in the evolution and transformation of the Purposeful Planning landscape. They come from a variety of professional disciplines and serving backgrounds but will share a common passion for assisting legacy families and families in business to discover the pathway to flourishing lives and families. Each of the Deans are instrumental in forging the thought content and processes we are introducing through our weekly teleconferences and at gatherings such as the annual Rendezvous.”

For more information about the Council of Deans, click here.

 

 

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Vol. 2, Issue 2

Summer vacation…the time of year everyone looks forward to. What are you doing this year? Traveling to some far off exotic location? Or staying home and taking advantage of the sights in your own community?

Whatever you do, I hope you’ll think about how you can make a difference. As you may recall, last summer I spent time in Nicaragua, working with two nonprofit organizations to save endangered sea turtles. Several of the young philanthropists I’ve interviewed have talked about the importance of international travel. Their trips to Nicaragua and Bosnia have been life-changing experiences.

Recently, I enjoyed a vacation on Maui and was happy to spend time swimming with turtles as I snorkeled through the coral reefs. I was also pleasantly surprised to see giving all around me. First, my friend and I discovered several local nonprofits when we attended the Earth Day Festival. Another day we saw youth restoring the local beach habitat. And on our final night, we attended a benefit dance to support the local hospitality association.

No matter where you find yourself, there’s always a chance to give. You can bring pencils to the schoolchildren in the remote village you are visiting (see Resource Highlight below for a review of The Promise of a Pencil). You can take time out to pick up trash at the beach or help with a restoration project. Or enjoy shopping at the local farmer’s market or art gallery. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for these opportunities—all of these actions make a difference.

Have a great summer!

Deborah Goldstein

831-373-3406

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Celebrating Philanthropy Camp for Women!

In April, we wrapped up the inaugural Philanthropy Camp for Women. Women from diverse backgrounds and career paths listened, interacted, and shared their passions for giving back.

Here are just a few of the things they had to say:

“This was a fantastic experience. Each session was chock filled with fun exercises, and special conversations. I felt that I learned a lot, but even more, I developed some ideas, BIG potential plans, met some fun women, and so much more. Put this down as a ‘must do’ for next time it is offered.”
~ Estate planning and tax attorney

“I’m so totally engrossed in the conversations we are having and what I am seeing and learning, I forget to stop and notice what a wonderful job you do in making it all happen. I haven’t felt this engaged in years. What a great, great program!”
~ Certified Public Accountant

“I thought the class was one of the best continuing personal education classes I’ve taken. We had a small group of wonderful women who shared openly, which made the class very informative and eye opening to new perspectives on philanthropy.”
~ Freelance graphic designer/Product developer

I am grateful for our journey together.

Like to learn more about the experience? Listen in as I talk about the Moments of Enlightenment from Philanthropy Camp for Women (recording from Purposeful Planning Institute teleconference in April).

Stay tuned for the announcement of fall dates.

Advisors, interested in offering Philanthropy Camp for Women for your clients? This is a great way to open the door to the philanthropic conversation. Contact me for more details.

quatrefoils-lineWhat is 21/64?

Years ago a colleague told me to check out 21/64. When I did, I found that they train philanthropic advisors like myself. At the time I thought, “some day I’ll take advantage of this opportunity.”

When I decided to focus on multi-generational giving, especially next gen, a couple years later, I knew that it was time to invest in their training.

To learn how this training has impacted my work…read more.

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Resource Highlight–Fun Summer Reads!

Are you looking for something fun to read this summer? Do you want to be inspired too? I recommend two great books to take with you on your summer vacation.

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, by Adam Braun

Nearing his 25th birthday, Adam Braun started Pencils of Promise by depositing $25 in a bank account. As he says, “The biggest of dreams often start with small, unreasonable acts. Most people would have thought that it was crazy to start with the minimum amount, but I wanted to prove that you could start something big no matter how small you begin.” And he’s proven just that. Almost six years later, this for-purpose organization has built more than 200 schools around the world, providing education in communities that had no infrastructure.

The Promise of a Pencil is the inspiring story, outlined with 30 guiding mantras, of how Adam and a growing network of volunteers and advocates helped launch a movement. Throughout the book, Adam shares his personal journey and his encounters with the individuals who have helped shape who he is today. It is a compelling read.

Start Something That Matters, by Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie, chief shoe giver of TOMS, delivers an easy, fun read in his book, Start Something That Matters. He highlights his experience with TOMS along with that of other innovative organizations that are making a difference in the world. One of the key messages of the book is—we don’t have to wait to do good or to give back. As the book jacket says, “You can find profit, passion, and meaning all at once—right now.”

Blake’s intention is that his book will “be the catalyst of many more organizations and projects making a positive impact on the world.” To support this desire, Blake shares inspiration throughout the pages and challenges each of us to start something that matters. He outlines six simple keys that will help us do just that. What will you start?

For a longer review, visit 2164.net.

Happy reading!

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21/64 and Me and You

June 26, 2014

21/64 logoYears ago a colleague told me to check out 21/64. When I did, I found that they train philanthropic advisors like myself. At the time I thought, “some day I’ll take advantage of this opportunity.”

When I decided to focus on multi-generational giving, especially next gen, a couple years later, I knew that it was time to invest in their training. 21/64 is a leader in the field of multi-generation family philanthropy and has worked with the next gen for over a decade. Of all the potential professional development opportunities, this training was the most tailored to the next steps I wanted to take with my business.

21/64 Training

“Some day” finally came last year. I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Who would I meet? What would I learn? Would this investment be worth it?

By the time we got to lunch on the first day, I knew my investment was going to pay off. The two-day training blew me away. Everything about it was top-notch—from the expert facilitators to my fellow colleagues who joined me on this journey.

We experienced each new tool for ourselves before discussing how we’d use it with our clients. So, when I facilitate a family or a group meeting, I know what it’s like to take time and think about my values and make the tough decisions to prioritize them. I know it’s not easy. And I know that within us, we each have the answers.

Exploring the next gen donor and generational differences in giving

Exploring the next gen donor and generational differences in giving

I’d been hearing about generational differences in recent years at fundraising conferences. However, it wasn’t until we reviewed the associated traits and values of each generation, that the personalities started to come to life for me. Now this is one of my favorite tools to facilitate. We each interact with multiple generations on a daily basis, so understanding how and why we’re different can help explain a lot. The major world events that occurred during our formative years shape who we are and how we interact in the world.

It makes sense that I’d have this revelation while training with an organization that has chosen a name that represents the four generations over the age of 21 who are now engaging in philanthropy. Twenty-one-year-olds are coming of age and beginning to explore their philanthropic identity, if they haven’t already. And 64-year-olds are starting to think about their legacy, their impact in the world. Everyone in between these ages, and above and below them, can engage in philanthropy. Now I better understand what motivates each generation’s giving.

21/64 Tools

21/64 Tools

I could go on and on about each well-researched and tested tool. I was so excited to fill up my toolbox! The nerves were fading away and I was enjoying learning alongside other advisors in the field, whether independent or with community foundations or giving circles.

This was, by far, the best professional development experience of my career. We closed by sharing one take-away from our time together. For me, it was validation that my process for working with families was solid. Now I had more “meat on the bones” to support our work together.

I’ve taken this experience and integrated what I’ve learned into everything I do—creating Philanthropy Camp for Women, engaging audiences when I speak, and working with families and teens.

Taking it to the Next Level

In the year or so since my training, I took it upon myself to meet with fellow trainers around the country—San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver. I wanted to understand how they were making the most of the tools. It felt great to connect with this small, select group of people, to talk one-on-one about our experience and how it can help philanthropic families. I felt proud to call myself a 21/64-certified consultant.

A couple of these conversations with colleagues in the Bay Area sparked an idea—let’s create a local group. Our first trainers gathering was this spring. For someone who works independently, it’s a treat to gather with like-minded individuals. I was pleased to receive positive feedback about the idea and look forward to the sharing, learning, and growing we can all do as we support one another moving forward.

This spring, I also chose to invest once again in the alumni training.

I returned to New York a different person than I was a year ago. More confident, I walked into the conference room excited to see colleagues from my initial training and one-on-one meetings. We all were more relaxed. We knew what to expect this time around—another incredible opportunity to learn about ourselves as we explore how to best support the philanthropic endeavors of our clients.

This time around, the focus was family systems and family dynamics. See what I mean when I say “learning about ourselves”? Discussing topics like these lends to a lot of self-reflection. Again, by experiencing activities first for ourselves, we become better equipped to navigate the sometimes challenging family dynamics we face when working with clients.

On a lighter note, we also explored how to incorporate play into our work with families. I’m especially excited to integrate this element into my experiences with the next gen. We rarely take time to play and yet it can be such a valuable tool. We seem to have forgotten this lesson from our childhood.

I left the second training with a sense of fulfillment and a desire to keep the momentum alive with my local colleagues.

And, I want to continue to put these tools to work for YOU. How can I help YOU find meaningful ways to give back and make a difference?

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Happy Holidays! I wish each of you a joyous holiday season. I hope you enjoy time with your family and friends and engage in giving that fills your heart with joy.

So much of our philanthropic giving is done at year-end. I hope during this busy season you’ll take some time to think about your giving. Think about what you value, what you’re passionate about, and how you want to make a difference in our world. Take time to research causes or organizations that are of interest to you. And take time to involve the whole family as well. Check out the tips in The Hip Family’s Guide to Happier Holidays that is this issue’s Resource Highlight. However you give, be sure it’s meaningful to you.

The rest of this issue has a little something for everyone. I’m pleased to announce two new offerings coming in 2014: Philanthropy Camp for Women and Philanthropy Camp for Teens! I’ve been dreaming of starting Philanthropy Camp for years and am excited to finally see it come to fruition.

I’m also excited about numerous new speaking opportunities in the coming months. Find out where you can hear me discussing philanthropy.

And for advisors, there’s an important new report out by U.S. Trust and The Philanthropic Initiative on the value of having the philanthropic conversation with your clients. I’d be happy to talk with you further about the findings and how it can apply to your business.

Wishing you all a prosperous 2014!

Deborah Goldstein
831-373-3406

www.enlightenedphilanthropy.com

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Philanthropy Camp!

I am absolutely thrilled to launch Philanthropy Camp in 2014!
First up, Philanthropy Camp for Women starts March 11, 2014 on the Monterey Peninsula. This 6-week course is for women who want to: give back, make a difference in their community, and engage their families in giving.

 

Are you overwhelmed by requests from nonprofits at the end of the year? Are you having difficulty deciding between worthy causes? Do you wonder if your gift will make a difference?

Do you wish you could engage your kids or grandkids in giving? Do you wish the whole family was more engaged in giving?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, than Philanthropy Camp for Women is for YOU! Make 2014 the year you put the joy back in your giving!

Click here to learn more about Philanthropy Camp for Women and register. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Philanthropy Camp Logo-Teens-Without StakeI’m also excited to offer Philanthropy Camp for Teens! If you’re interested in hosting or learning more about this one-week camp for teens to become engaged, philanthropic leaders, please contact me!

 

Enlightened Philanthropy to be Featured on Two Local Shows

I’m excited to be a guest on the local radio show, Simple Life, hosted by Cynthia Fernandes, co-owner of Pilgrim’s Way Community Bookstore and Secret Garden, this Saturday, December 21 from 4-5 pm. Tune in to KRXA 540 AM or listen online at radiomonterey.com. Cynthia features stories for the adventurous at heart. I’m looking forward to our conversation!

In January, I’ll be joining Gina Renee, licensed acupuncturist, holistic nutritionist, author, and radio and tv personality, on her local cable access show, Your Health, to discuss the health benefits of giving. The show airs Monday, January 6, 2014 from 4-5 pm on Amp Media or on local cable channel 24. It will rebroadcast on these same stations at 11 pm that evening and on February 3, 2013 at 4 pm and 11 pm.

Thanks for tuning in!

Latest Blog Post: Engaging Your Clients in the Philanthropic Conversation is Better for Business

I wasn’t surprised. I was familiar with the statistics. In preparing for a focus group a couple of years ago with trusted advisors, I’d done the research and learned about the frequency with which advisors discuss philanthropy with their clients. The latest survey from the U.S. Trust and The Philanthropic Initiative, released this fall, confirms there’s still a long way to go in terms of broaching the subject of philanthropy with clients. Read more…

Weaving a Web of Support

Registration is now open for Youth Philanthropy Connect’s 4th Annual Conference, July 24-26th, 2014, at the Grand Californian Hotel, at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA! Register now at the Early Bird rate!

With sessions geared towards youth philanthropists ages 8-21 and the adults who guide them, attendees will learn about the ins and outs of effective philanthropy and youth philanthropy models as well as have time to connect with their peers and work collaboratively. Attendees can make the most of their conference experience with plenary keynotes, networking and team building opportunities, the YPC Giving Circle, workshop sessions, time in Disneyland, and more!

I had a great time at the 2013 conference and highly recommend attending! Read more about my experience…

Resource HighlightThe Hip Family’s Guide to Happier Holidays

My friend and colleague, Lisa Parker, has developed a handy little guide for families who are longing for a “more joyful holiday.” She shares some great tips on making memories, creating rituals and traditions, and giving back this season through service. She even includes fun giving ideas for young and old alike. Explore her guide and let me know how your family celebrates the spirit of the season.

One of my own favorite ideas is to take this opportunity when your family is together to share stories—old and new. I especially love hearing how grandparents or great grandparents celebrated the holidays. There was something simple and almost sacred about holiday traditions of the past. It’s a good reminder that we didn’t used to have all this stuff and we made do with what we had. It’s a good reminder of family traditions too. Maybe there’s one your family wants to bring back and incorporate into your celebrations.

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I wasn’t surprised. I was familiar with the statistics. In preparing for a focus group a couple of years ago with trusted advisors, I’d done the research and learned about the frequency with which advisors discuss philanthropy with their clients.

The Philanthropic Conversation

The latest survey from the U.S. Trust and The Philanthropic Initiative, released this fall, confirms there’s still a long way to go in terms of broaching the subject of philanthropy with clients. The U.S. Trust Study of the Philanthropic Conversation: Understanding advisor approaches and client expectations highlights the continued need for advisors to raise the subject with their clients—early and often.

What was surprising about the findings was the discrepancy between the advisors perceptions and the clients’ view of the philanthropic conversation

For example:

  • 89% of advisors say they discuss philanthropy with some of their clients
  • 55% of clients say they discuss philanthropy with a professional advisor

That’s a huge gap!

Another discrepancy:

  • 33% of advisors say they initiate the philanthropic conversation
  • 51% of clients who have discussed philanthropy with their advisors say they have initiated the conversation

Again, a sizable gap!

To be fair, advisors (88%) agree that these discussions are important. Yet they may not be discussing philanthropy as much as they could or in a meaningful way.

Clients Main Concerns

What clients are really concerned about, according to the study, is that they have a meaningful conversation about philanthropy early on in their relationship with an advisor. And by meaningful, they mean a values-based conversation. Discussions currently seem to be more technically directed rather than focused on a client’s philanthropic goals or passions. Clients WANT to have this conversation!

And they also want to talk about how to involve their children and grandchildren in discussions of charitable giving (an issue near and dear to my heart). This is especially important since more than 80% of advisors lose the next generation to other advisors at the point of wealth transfer.

Good for Business

Do you feel uncomfortable having this conversation with your clients? Do you wish you had a resource to refer your clients to if the conversation goes beyond your comfort zone? Do you wonder how you could start to bring your clients’ children or grandchildren into your relationship? This is where a philanthropic advisor comes in. We can help guide you in how to start this conversation, how to involve the next generations, and when to hand it off if necessary. Our focus is philanthropy and giving, something that the majority of your clients are involved in, one way or another.

By initiating the philanthropic conversation with your clients, you can improve your business. The study sheds light on the advantages of discussing philanthropy. Three out of four advisors say this conversation is good for business for a myriad of reasons:

  • it “deepens relationships” with clients (75%)
  • it helps to build connections with other members of the clients’ family (56%)
  • it “establishes new relationships” (54%)
  • it “presents a more comprehensive and holistic approach to managing a client’s wealth” (24%)
  • it “demonstrates greater interest in their clients’ charitable goals and aspirations” (18%)
  • it “shows clients that they are interested in more than just their clients’ money” (13%)
  • it “provides insights that help advisors better serve their clients” (13%)

These are all of the positive benefits of discussing charitable giving with your clients.

So, how can I help you strengthen your business by serving your clients’ philanthropic desires and needs? Contact me to discuss this study further. I’d love to be of assistance to you and your clients.

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