May 24, 2023

The Mid-Year Check-In: How to Help Your Clients Achieve Their Philanthropic Objectives

Author National Philanthropic Trust

As we approach the middle of the year, your clients’ charitable giving will likely be in full swing. Alternatively, they may not be as far into their giving plan as they first expected.

Either way, this is the perfect time for a mid-year discussion to ensure their philanthropic aspirations are being met. Here are a few key themes and questions to help you conduct a productive conversation about giving with your clients.

 

Areas of focus

Philanthropy often stems from a desire to make a positive difference. It’s a good idea to discuss whether your clients’ areas of interest have remained the same since the beginning of the year – or have they evolved, perhaps due to external events or personal experiences? Has this evolution affected the types of organisations they wish to support or the amount or frequency they wish to give?

 

Structured and strategic giving

As your clients move from making ad-hoc donations to more long term, strategic giving, they will undoubtedly benefit from having a philanthropic structure. With a range of charitable giving vehicles available – from charitable trusts and foundations to donor-advised funds – are the vehicles your clients considering the most appropriate to meet their needs?

DAFs are increasingly chosen by private clients as an alternative to setting up their own trust or foundation because of their efficiency. Make sure you understand the benefits of a DAF and assess whether it might be a suitable choice for your clients’ giving. Donors with their own grantmaking charity may also consider transferring to a DAF to offload the administrative burden of running their own organisation.

Beyond grantmaking

Have your clients considered using all their philanthropic tools to make a difference? For instance, impact investing has captured philanthropists’ attention with the aim of generating positive social and/or environmental impact in addition to financial return. Your clients might consider investing their philanthropic capital for impact before it is granted to charities.

You might also remind your clients that grantmaking is just one way for them to achieve their philanthropic goals in 2023. Have they considered using their time, connections, and resources as well as financial contributions? For example, through participating in volunteering opportunities, and encouraging others in their network to support causes?

Legacy planning

As wealth is transferred, your clients may want to include their families in their philanthropic activities as a way to pass on family values and share the experience of philanthropic giving. Are there family members who would like to take on more of a prominent role in future giving decisions? Will the next generation continue with the same charitable mission or pursue other causes? Exploring answers to these questions should make it easier for your clients to learn what matters most to their family, whether it be short-term change or long-term legacy.

By having a regular and open dialogue with your clients about their philanthropy, you can empower your relationship and build a stronger connection for the rest of the year. A combination of continuously checking in on your client’s personal charitable goals and the more technical aspects of giving will help your clients realise a successful philanthropy strategy.

For more information on how NPT UK can support your clients’ philanthropic journey for the rest of this year and beyond, please contact us.

About the Author

John Canady, CEO of National Philanthropic Trust UK, has 25 years of experience working across the business, nonprofit and government sectors. He specializes in creating and managing philanthropic funds for donors and family offices around the world who wish to base their philanthropy from the UK.