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Working with clients to develop a strategic charitable plan

Working with clients to develop a strategic charitable plan
Although many people are already generous, they often want to do more for their communities and the causes that matter most to them. When thinking about generosity, we often categorize it into three main areas:

  • Spontaneous giving: These are contributions given in a moment. Examples include disaster relief and neighbors in need.
  • Regular giving: These are contributions made on a regular basis. Examples include giving to your church or other favorite charities monthly or annually.
  • Planned giving: Planned giving is an intentional part of an overall financial strategy.

This third category, planned giving, is where you as a qualified professional can help your clients develop a plan designed to match their charitable interests and financial circumstances. By working with your clients in this area of generosity you can not only help with spontaneous and regular giving, but you can help your clients maximize their impact both today and long into the future. But where do you start?

Questions to start building a charitable giving plan
When discussing your clients' overall financial strategy and how they want to incorporate generosity strategically into that plan, it is best to start by asking them to reflect on a few questions. In doing so, you can present the best options for your clients. Here are three questions to help you start the conversation.

What is your why?
Ask your client to imagine they are sitting at Thanksgiving dinner and instead of saying for what they are grateful, answer the question, “Why is generosity important to me?” Through their generosity and charitable giving, what do they want to see change? Uncovering the why will set the course for their plan today and for the long-term.

What are your goals for giving?
After they have expressed their why, understanding their goals will be easier. It could be focusing on a specific organization or charity that supports the good they want to see, or it could be supporting an organization that has been influential in their own life. As they think about their goals, ask them to think of the lives they want to help change and how their generosity could help be a part of that change. As they crystalize their giving intentions, you can help you create a plan using the best financial tools for their circumstance.

Where do you want to give?
Sometimes, after they have spent time defining their why and goals, defining where to give is easy. Using online resources to research causes or organizations or giving professionals like those at Thrivent Charitable can help your clients discover the charities that best fulfill their why and achieve your goals.

Although there are tax benefits and efficiencies to be achieved through a charitable plan, we know that isn’t always the main reason people give. People give because they care and want to be part of changing their community for the better. Charitable giving can be deeply personal, and you can help your client make the most of their giving and feel the impact today through a strategic charitable plan.