Professional advisors often ask for our advice on how to begin a discussion about charitable giving with their clients. Conversations around charitable giving can feel different than other topics you cover with your clients. The North Carolina Community Foundation is here to provide support, resources, and expertise to help you navigate – and look forward to – those conversations.
While there’s no single formula to determine when and how to speak with clients about charitable giving, there are times and circumstances when the charitable giving conversation can organically arise:
- During introductory meetings with clients.Many advisors give clients a questionnaire at the beginning of the relationship to learn about their clients, requesting information about their family members, assets, and estate planning goals. As part of that questionnaire, consider incorporating questions about charitable giving to get a sense for where your clients are in their philanthropy and how they may like to incorporate it into their plans.
- During estate planning. Clients are often interested in discussing the idea of a legacy, what they’d like to be remembered for, and organizations and issues they care about. If the client has potential estate tax consequences or has no heirs to inherit their estate, charitable giving may be of particular interest to avoid taxes or giving all to Uncle Sam while building a philanthropic legacy.
- During year-end tax planning. Clients are often interested in the types of assets that maximize the tax advantages of charitable giving, such as highly appreciated stock or real estate.
- At retirement. At this new stage of life, clients are sometimes open to how they will deploy their time and financial resources.
- Before major financial decisions. Large-scale financial transactions, such as selling a business or dealing with significant IRA or 401(k) assets, can spur conversations about charitable giving as part of an overall strategy.
Stumped on what to say or how to “ask the charitable question”? Consider these approaches:Is charitable giving a family value you want to share with the next generation?
- You’ve told me that in your life, you’ve benefited greatly from the experience you had at X. Have you ever thought about expressing your gratitude with a gift?
- We’ve had several conversations about providing for your family and others. What about providing for some of the causes and issues you care most deeply about?
- You have a deep interest and pride in X. Might this be a good time to think about how you might sustain X for the future?
- We know there will be money left over in your estate after making gifts to your heirs. Would you be interested in using those funds to support the community or your favorite nonprofit organizations and leave a charitable legacy?
- Since we’re discussing limits to inheritance, perhaps you might want to think about using the surplus to support your charitable legacy?
- What has been the most meaningful gift you’ve ever made?
- I know X helped you in your time of need. Is this the time to think about giving something back to X?
As their trusted advisor, you don’t have to also be the expert in charitable giving – we’re just a phone call away! The North Carolina Community Foundation is here to answer your charitable giving questions, brainstorm solutions, and offer insight into nonprofit organizations serving your client’s preferred areas of interest.
Contact our Development Team any time for a no-obligation conversation: