I like to talk. I think most people do. Though spending time in conversations isn’t necessarily seen as financially beneficial, I know that the time spent in conversations about charitable giving when connected with financial and estate planning, do pay, and pay substantially.
The Community Foundation has conversations with clients that save them between 10% and 35% in real money. And as they say, money saved is money earned. So, if a conversation means more money in your pocket, or perhaps more money to charity, or more money saved for your heirs, that conversation is time well spent.
The problem I see is that, for some reason, professional advisors are reluctant to talk about charitable giving with their clients. I’ve written about this before and have given advice about how to ask, and how to bring up the subject of charitable giving. There is no best way. The most important thing is to begin the conversation. For professional advisors, it can’t hurt to ask their clients if they have thought about including charitable giving in their plans. It certainly can’t hurt to share that many clients do incorporate their charitable giving into their financial and estate plans and that the result is money saved -money earned.
It can help to involve the Community Foundation in the conversation as early as possible. We frequently receive phone inquiries and referrals from clients who were directed to the Community Foundation. The discussion takes place via phone or email, usually followed by a meeting. We can offer specific advice to accomplish the client’s charitable goals, in a way that is most financially beneficial. We can provide illustrations that include technical language, citations, and formulas, saving everyone time and cost since the advisor does not have to create the plans and materials and spends professional time on their review.
The Community Foundation can be the facilitator to make the charitable “deal” happen, now and through future estate arrangements. We can and do serve as Trustee, and on the charitable side, we can continue to work with, retain, and manage gifted properties and even company holdings. I enjoy the transactional process. There is little in life as satisfying as helping someone to make a meaningful gift in precisely the way they want, getting exactly the results they desire, while maximizing their financial benefits, and indeed, saving… earning money.
During this time of the year, it is particularly beneficial to have these conversations. If I or any staff member at the Community Foundation can help you, please do not hesitate to ask. We love to talk.
Chris Askin, President, and CEO