Advisors need a better understanding of charitable gift planning

Advisors need a better understanding of charitable gift planning

Advisors need a better understanding of charitable gift planning Charitable giving among high-net-worth clients is on the rise, but advisors need to gain a better grasp of the nuances of what it means to be a “charitable gift planner,” says one industry insider.

“As a charitable gift planner, I know there are different advantages tax-wise of making gifts of public shares, I know what they are of making private shares, and how to transact those,” says Doug Puffer director of planned giving, university advancement for Simon Fraser University. “But I don’t think that is common knowledge yet among financial advisors that they can tell their clients with confidence.”

The numbers involved in grants and gifts are staggering – and are only expected to climb higher as the baby boom generation looks for good causes to share their wealth with.

That new emphasis on giving will force advisors to up their game in order to better guide clients through the process of planning and structuring their philanthropy.

Over the past decade, the total value of assets held by top assets foundations has more than doubled, increasing from just over $8.8 billion in 2002 to $18.7 billion in 2012.

Much of the increase in total assets has been driven by a significant number of new foundations founded since 2002.

For advisors, opening that conversation with clients should be the easiest step, says Malcolm Berry, vice president of major gifts for the SickKids Foundation, as the majority of high-net worth clients are already predisposed to share the wealth.

“It can be pretty simple – it is that passion for a cause,” says Berry. “I almost wonder if we cut it short by saying it is the inclination to give; I think it is deeper and stronger than that.”