How Philanthropic Advisory Firms Can Help Generous Clients

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As year-end approaches, many clients are contributing to their already-established charitable vehicles, while others are rushing to establish them. Many clients with donor-advised fund (DAF) accounts have already recommended grants to their favorite charities earlier in the year, and some are responding to year-end appeals and are making additional grants. This will be a record year both for incoming donations to DAF sponsors as well as outgoing grants from them to thousands of charities.

Though most clients, regardless of whether they have a DAF, private foundation, or no charitable vehicle, have a good idea of which causes and non-profit organizations they wish to support, some do not. Those who do not often recently sold their business, retired, or received an inheritance, while others are simply reassessing their charitable plans. The pandemic has caused some donors to change direction or contemplate how they can have the most impact. Some donors have realized how fortunate they are and with their investment portfolios at much higher levels than ever before, they are determined to share their good fortune.

The need for content and guidance in the past few years has been greater than ever before, as clients realize that establishing a charitable vehicle is only step one in achieving their charitable goals. Only some banks and wealth management firms offer philanthropic guidance to clients, but fortunately there are independent philanthropic advisory firms that can help clients and complement the work of the clients’ financial, tax, and legal advisors.

These philanthropic advisory firms help donors in one or more of the following areas. They can help clients:

1. Develop a charitable mission

2. Establish a grantmaking strategy

3. Narrow or determine which causes to support

4. Identify or evaluate the best non-profit organizations in geographic or issue areas

5. Involve the next generation

6. Facilitate family meetings about philanthropy

7. Assess progress

8. Evaluate impact

9. Manage charitable giving

10. Advise or coach donors