April 7, 2020

Tips for Advisors in the Age of COVID-19

Author National Philanthropic Trust

NPT UK is proud to introduce a new series for our blog: DAF Perspectives for Advisors. Through the Perspectives series we will deliver useful, timely information to help advisors better manage the philanthropic conversation with their clients and stay ahead of trends and issues in charitable giving.    


The world is facing tough times ahead: individuals, households, communities and nations are dealing with the very real public health threat of COVID-19 as well as the economic and social consequences of much of the global economy shutting down.

As a private client advisor, helping your clients navigate the novel coronavirus pandemic will be challenging. Clients are worried about the erosion of personal wealth, their businesses and employees and, of course, their own wellbeing and that of their families.

One area where advisors can have a positive impact in their client’s lives is philanthropy and giving. In any disaster or emergency relief situation, there is a tremendous role for philanthropy to play, and this will continue even once the immediate crisis is over. Clients may be looking to maximise their giving during this time, whether that means expanding current philanthropic efforts or setting up new giving vehicles. Here are some of the ways advisors can lend their support and start the philanthropic conversation:

Be an information resource. Charities across the globe are providing critical support to help communities and vulnerable people cope with the crisis. Advisors can amalgamate and share important information for clients to better understand how to tailor their grantmaking. NPT UK has created and regularly updates a COVID-19 Response and Resources page for this purpose.

Share four key principles for grantmaking during this time. In order to support the vital work of charities during the pandemic, clients should think about 1) giving with as few restrictions as possible; 2) allocating support for the immediate term by expediting any planned giving; 3) funding organisations that are already active and experienced; and 4) working with other funders to amplify impact.

Facilitate quick and efficient giving. Help clients set up philanthropic structures that can make grants immediately. Vehicles such as donor-advised funds can be set up within days and once a DAF is funded, grants can be recommended right away. DAFs can also accept a wide range of asset types, which can be useful for clients looking to maximise their giving beyond contributing cash or shares.

Encourage clients to use philanthropic tools beyond grantmaking. For instance, clients may be able to use their convening power to help community and business leaders collaborate towards a coordinated response to the crisis. Families might also think about how they can dedicate time and virtual skills to support organisations through volunteering.

Learn more about how NPT UK donor-advised funds can be a solution for private client philanthropy.


Natalie Pinon is Director of Development at NPT UK.  She has over 15 years of experience working with philanthropists and impact investors to manage their giving.



NPT UK does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained here may vary depending on individual circumstances.

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