Identify Gift Planning Opportunities
As a professional advisor, staying current and fully informed about gift planning and how it can fit within a financial plan is crucial. Gift planning presents opportunities to increase assets under management that are often overlooked.
Clients may be interested in giving strategies even if they have not asked the question. So educating yourself about the investment strategies for charitable giving is important because if you aren’t talking to clients about and the financial benefits of giving, some other advisor will.
Clients may have a wide variety of philanthropic goals and charitable causes they would like to support for all sorts of reasons. They many simply want to bequest assets in their will, make a onetime significant donation to a particular cause, or establish an endowment fund to help create a sustainable legacy of giving for both their family and the causes they choose to support. But you will never know their current or future aspirations if you are not prepared to have these important and sometimes personal conversations.
Who should you be talking to?
Gift planning is an important tax strategy in wealth and estate planning, most especially for boomer s and individuals over 60. While you are assessing your pipeline and building client profiles, consider this – individuals that likely need help planning a gift are often those over 60. They may be widowed or married with no children, owners of privately held companies, owners of appreciated securities or real estate, or individuals who are already actively involved with a cause. In fact, Canada’s 4.4 million pensioners already contribute almost 30 per cent of charitable donations and this number is expected to almost double by 2026. Look for the following trends in your client base;
• A portfolio with significant capital gains tax liabilities
• Approaching or in retirement
• Diminished responsibilities to other dependent family members
• Substantial disposable income
• A desire to delegate financial management including estate planning to a professional advisor
• Already philanthropically inclined and involved with a cause
• Optimistic about fundraising
• Community minded and drawn to more traditional giving opportunities (commemoration, religion,
health care, education, and the arts)
• Know the importance of an effective tax planning strategy
It’s also important to uncover trigger events within your existing and prospect client list. The greatest opportunities occur when there is money in motion. These are the times when clients will look to you to navigate a new financial scenario.
• Estate Planning
• Writing or revising a will
• Retirement Planning
• Sale of a business or other major asset
• Divorce Death of a family member
Benefits to Your Business
• Deepen and extend your relationships with clients by helping to structure and implement their
• Generate recurring revenue by retaining client’s assets as AUM.
Partnering with a charitable foundation, like Benefaction, whose primary purpose is to connect investors and their advisors with worthy charities through the creation of donor advisor funds can help you achieve just that. This partnership will enable you to help your clients maximize charitable giving, minimize their tax burdens, help you to retain more assets and enjoy and a higher, and more positive, community profile.
Resources to help you stay current about the latest gift planning strategies
Join a professional association like the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), subscribe to newsletters and white papers on the subject, and take the opportunity to continue your learning by taking a gift planning course (while also fulfilling CE requirements) like Investment Strategies for Charitable Giving available May 15th from the Knowledge Bureau, www.knowledgebureau.com.
Don’t Wait! Plant the Seeds of Giving Early
Add gift planning to your next meeting agenda to start the conversation
• Let your clients know you are knowledgeable in the area of planned giving from the get go.
• Be open to numerous informational discussions on the subject as a strategy for future tax planning.
• Be confident that developing trust and deepening client relationships will entrench clients for the long-term and enhance referral opportunities.