Your clients want professional advice on their charitable giving. A 2013 study by U.S. Trust and the Philanthropic Initiative found that 90% of high net worth individuals want to discuss philanthropy with their advisors — and want to discuss it within their first several meetings.

But philanthropy is not just for high net worth individuals. In fact, your client can establish an endowment fund at the Outer Banks Community Foundation with as little as $1,000 in year one.

And, contrary to stereotype, planned giving is not just for childless widow(er)s. Most of our legacy donors have children and are including both family members and charitable organizations in their estate plans. (Some do both at the same time, through giving tools like charitable remainder trusts.)

So how and when do you start a conversation with your clients about philanthropy? A good opportunity is when your client is writing or revising a will, making estate plans, selling real estate, selling a business, purchasing life insurance, or receiving a financial windfall (such as an inheritance).

Here are some ideas on how to start the conversation:

  • “Do you volunteer for any community groups?”
  • “I know you are very supportive of [your church, XYZ nonprofit]…  Have you thought about continuing your support through your estate plan?”
  • “Are you making charitable gifts now that you would like to continue after your lifetime?”
  • “Is there a charitable organization that has made a difference in your life or that of a family member?”
  • “I can see that you don’t need any income from your IRA right now, yet you’re forced to take a distribution because of your age. Have you thought about donating directly to charity from your IRA, instead of through your checking account? Let’s crunch the numbers; this could make a difference on your tax return.”


Resources for Advisors

Client Scenarios

Charity and the New Tax Law: New Strategies for Tax-Advantaged Philanthropy

How to Create a Fund (webpage) and Benefits of Establishing a Fund (webpage)

Types of Funds: Overview (webpage, PDF file)
• Designated Funds (PDF file)
• Donor-Advised Funds
• DAF Overview (PDF file)
• DAFs with the Outer Banks Community Foundation (PDF file)
• Field of Interest Funds (PDF file)
• Scholarship Funds
• Scholarship Overview (webpage, PDF file)
• Scholarship Funds with the Outer Banks Community Foundation: Guide for New Donors (PDF file)
• Unrestricted Funds (PDF file)

Comparing Private Foundations with Donor-Advised Funds (PDF file)

What is “Endowment”? (PDF file)

What to Give and Ways to Give: Overview (webpage, PDF file)
• IRA Charitable Rollover Gifts (PDF file)
• Charitable Remainder Trusts
• Overview of CRTs (PDF file)
• Tax Considerations for CRTs (PDF file)
• Charitable Lead Trusts (PDF file)
• Gifts of Real Estate (PDF file)
• Gifts of Securities
• Gifts of Appreciated Stock (PDF file)
• Philanthropic Strategies with Concentrated Portfolios (PDF file)
• Gifts of Life Insurance (PDF file)
• Gifts by Bequest (PDF file)
• Sample Bequest Language for Gifts to the Community Foundation (webpage)

Joining the David Stick Legacy Society