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5 Ways Financial Advisors Help Charitable Giving

Most of us think of financial advisors as professionals who help us grow our portfolios. But, as more people look to incorporate philanthropy into their financial planning, there’s an increasing demand for professionals who are credentialed and experienced in advising their clients in charitable giving.

While philanthropy appears to be simple — you identify the organizations and causes you want to support, determine what you can afford to give, and donate — professionals who specialize in the field can take your giving to the next level. 

Here are five ways that financial advisors and professionals with philanthropic expertise add value. 

1. They can maximize your philanthropy. 


The rules, regulations, and tax codes related to charitable giving are anything but simple. And, because these can vary at the state level, advisors who understand the ins and outs of your particular situation can help you maximize your philanthropy. 

For example, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 changed the allowable standard deduction and charitable giving deductions. Because the bill represented a significant overhaul of the 1986 tax code, it’s not surprising that many of its features were oversimplified in reports, with some observers suggesting that charitable donations were no longer tax deductible. In reality, the bill increased allowable deductions at certain levels. 

There are also strategies such as “bunching” that an informed advisor can help you understand and utilize, if appropriate — all of which can help you increase the impact of your giving. 

2. They can help you define your goals. 


Advisors who counsel clients on philanthropy follow the same process as any financial advisor. 

They begin by gaining an understanding of your overall goals and objectives. 

  • What are your priorities in giving? 
  • How do you want your giving to change over time? 
  • What do you want your philanthropic legacy to be? 

Thinking of charitable giving strategically and in the long-term helps you define your goals in a way that annual giving does not. Equally important, your advisor works with you to develop and implement a giving plan to realize those goals. 

3. They are connected to the charitable community. 


Advisors who specialize in giving are connected to the charitable community. Many advise nonprofit organizations on financial matters, so they can be valuable resources in directing you to effective organizations that align with your interests. 

They will also be familiar with like-minded donors who can broaden your community network. 

4. They can incorporate giving into your larger financial planning. 


Advisors with expertise in philanthropy can help you incorporate giving into your overall financial planning. 

Do you want to keep giving during your retirement? Do you want to include philanthropy in your business exit planning, estate planning, or legacy planning? 

For help with these and other questions, you’ll want to work with an advisor who understands how to translate your goals into realities. 

5. They can support your big ideas. 


If you’re in the fortunate position to set up a family foundation, you will definitely need the skills of an advisor with experience in long-term charitable planning. 

Family foundations not only leave a personal and family legacy — often in perpetuity — but also bring your family together during the planning and implementation phases. This creates a life-long-and-beyond connection that spans current and future generations. 

Whatever your philanthropic vision, a financial advisor or professional with specialized education and experience can make a difference in how you make a difference. 


This content and information was created by a third party and not The College. The College assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any such content and information and the views expressed therein do not necessarily represent the views of The College.

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