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A recent article from Financial Advisor caught our attention and echoes some of the same sentiments we’ve found while compiling our own data about how advisors can better support their affluent clients. With 73.7% of high-net-worth (HNW) investors considering themselves to be charitable or very charitable, there’s an incredible opportunity for wealth advisors to forge deeper, more meaningful connections with their wealthy clients. Yet we found that 73% of the HNW said that they have not received formal philanthropic guidance. In fact, the article goes on to say that in a 2023 survey of 421 wealth managers, only 19.2% talk about giving regularly with their clients.

But what about the wealth advisors who did bring up charitable giving? Of the 266 wealthy investors who self-identified as being very charitable or charitable, 35% reported their advisor as being only somewhat helpful or not helpful at all. So, why did they feel this way? In turns out their advisors didn’t make them a central part of the process by making these three mistakes:

• They focused too much on selling their services or products
• They did a poor job of explaining the charitable options
• They didn’t discuss the clients’ specific giving and financial situations

The authors’ research also found that four times more wealth managers focused their philanthropic discussions on the mechanics of charitable vehicles versus the implications to the clients. For wealth advisors, it’s key to center the discussions around helping clients make smart decisions with their giving versus just providing an overview of how they work.

What Should Advisors Do Next?
Zooming out for a moment and looking at the big picture, it’s clear that wealthy clients want and need to discuss philanthropy with their advisors. What’s more, 88% of financial advisors agree that philanthropic conversations are important to have with clients according to the U.S. Trust® Study of the Philanthropic Conversation. The next step for advisors is to empower themselves by bolstering their technical knowledge through educational resources and using proven methods and prompts to help them weave the topic more naturally into regular conversations.

Foundation Source has a plethora of helpful resources and a great place to start is with our Client Meeting Kit. It includes a suite of specialized insights based on our decades of experience working with philanthropic families and it will help you prep before, during and after your client meetings.

Finally, if we are to leave with you some words of wisdom, it’s this: facilitate conversations that drive results (and referrals), integrate philanthropy under the wealth management umbrella and extend regular client interactions to engage around charitable interests.

Learn More About How We Support Advisors
Schedule a call or reach us at 800-839-0054 to learn how we can best support your clients who are passionate about philanthropy. Together, let’s #begiving.

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