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Data Shows Advisors Don’t Get Philanthropy

It’s time to get educated before it’s too late.

I've long felt a kinship with Al Gore's mission in "An Inconvenient Truth" to confront the looming crisis of climate change. Just as Gore tirelessly advocated for environmental awareness, I find myself similarly compelled to educate financial advisors about the importance of philanthropic planning for their clients. Quoting Mark Twain, Gore aptly noted, “What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.” This sentiment resonates deeply with me as I witness the disconnect between the philanthropic aspirations of affluent clients and the lack of guidance they receive from advisors.

Recent surveys among financial advisors reveal a glaring disparity: while the desire for philanthropic advice among clients is high, only a small fraction of advisors feel confident discussing or advising on philanthropy. This gap not only undermines the potential for advisors to deepen client relationships but also overlooks the evolving landscape of wealth transfer and the growing significance of philanthropy among younger generations of high-net-worth individuals. It's a warning sign that advisors must heed, recognizing the urgency to bridge the knowledge gap and adapt their services to meet the changing needs and expectations of their clientele.

Beyond moral imperative, philanthropic planning presents tangible benefits for both advisors and clients. By embracing charitable planning strategies, advisors can not only preserve wealth across generations but also position themselves as trusted partners in their clients' financial journeys. The narrative underscores the need for advisors to seek external expertise, overcome resistance to collaboration, and seize the opportunity to provide comprehensive, value-added services that align with the philanthropic goals and values of their clients. Ultimately, the text emphasizes the pivotal role of philanthropic planning in shaping a more holistic approach to wealth management and client service.


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