Professional advisors are key

What an opportunity we have ahead of us and professional advisors are key

Eleanor Cater
Community Foundations of New Zealand
3 September 2018

Professional advisors are often surprised to discover how many people get great fulfillment from personal giving.

Gone are the days where giving to charity exclusively means dropping money in a bucket or sponsoring a child. There many options today that allow people to consider structuring their giving to causes that they care about in a more strategic, a more fulfilling way. Knowing what these options are can lead to very meaningful lawyer-client conversations.

Lawyer Bill Holland, who founded the Acorn Foundation in Tauranga in 2003, often says that meaningful conversations about giving or philanthropy can add significant value to lawyer-client relationships. He says that many clients do want to have a warm conversation about their interests and their passions and certainly do want to have a meaningful conversation that goes beyond the technical.

We are certainly seeing in New Zealand more people discovering that they can give back to their communities in a myriad of ways. Once people know their options we find that the giving strategically can be a very appealing prospect.

Conversations on giving are particularly important today as we are poised to see an unprecedented intergenerational wealth transfer from the baby boomer generation about to take place. According to Philanthropy New Zealand the intergenerational wealth transfer in Australia and New Zealand will likely exceed $600 billion over the next 20 years.

What a difference it could make if we can channel a portion of the baby boomer wealth towards philanthropy. Put into effective and professionally managed funds  it could be transformational in communities and change the charity landscape of New Zealand forever.

The Research

Studies from Canada indicate that 76% of clients agree that discussing philanthropy with their advisor strengthens the relationship. 2013 American research has also revealed that such philanthropic conversations would likely improve the client-advisor relationship and strengthen future business opportunities. A 2016 UK study found that the estate-making process can reliably shape whether people leave assets to charity in their Will; yet a 2015 QUT Survey found that only 1/3 of advisors discuss philanthropic issues with their clients. There’s a big opportunity here.

What are the options for giving?

Options for giving are many, varied and can be tailored to an individual’s needs and desires.  Knowing the difference in types of giving can be a real eye-opener and many people are delighted to discover that there are more strategic ways beyond traditional charitable giving.

For example, establishing an endowment fund is like having your own charitable Trust without all the hassle. It enables clients to focus on their giving and the causes that they care about and it enables them to give for the long-term. In fact it enables them to go on giving to causes that they care about forever. It’s transformational, it’s impactful and its reach is so much greater than traditional charity giving.

 

There’s a whole section on this website dedicated to information for professional advisors. You could share it with a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor you know; it could lead to something quite fufilling and, potentially, something quite transformational in the community where your heart resides.

 

See further details in the article ‘Adding Significant Value to Client Relationships‘ in the September 2018 Edition of the NZ Law Society’s Lawtalk magazine.