Top 10 Conversation Starters on Philanthropy
I would like to raise philanthropy with my client, but what do I say?
You can just ask the basic giving question: “Are there any charitable interests you would like to support?” or “Have you supported charities in the past?” Or you can prepare the ground. Before a meeting, send a list of issues you want to discuss and include the giving question. This allows clients to consider the idea ahead of time and ensures that the question is not overlooked.
If you are talking about giving during your client’s lifetime, you might ask:
1. What role has philanthropy played in your family? What role would you like it to play? What value would it be to your children and grandchildren?
2. Do you want to involve your family or your friends in your giving? If so, in what way? How involved should they be? What do you (not) want to happen?
3. Are there areas of conflict within the family that must be acknowledged when developing a giving program?
If you are talking about your client’s retirement, when clients may worry about having enough for a secure future, you might say:
4. If you’re interested, perhaps we could try making your money work well for you while also helping charities that matter to you?
If you are talking about your client’s will, you might ask one or two of the following questions:
5. Have you thought of leaving something in your will for charity?
6. Are you giving to charity now and would you like this to continue after your death?
7. Do you think your family shares your personal values? What are these? Have you discussed them together?
8. Do you wish to pass your values on? Could philanthropy be a good way of doing this?
9. How do you think your children would react if you left something to charity?
10. It’s not a happy thought, but have you thought what you would like to happen to your assets if your spouse or children do not survive you? Would you like to help a charity?Adapted from Giving Advice: A guide for philanthropy advisors. Philanthropy.co.uk Print PDF