Yes, really. For high-net-worth clients, there are few sources as trusted as financial advisors for information on charitable giving. In fact, when it comes to philanthropic decisions, advisors are bested only by spouses and partners, according to a survey by U.S. Trust.
That level of rapport can help advisors either cement a relationship or lead to its undoing. Wealthy clients’ expectations for top-quality advice extend well beyond how charitable giving will impact their finances or taxes. They want recommendations about specific vehicles to use, and sometimes, they even ask for help selecting a worthy cause. Advisors need to step up to fully service this need or risk losing out to a competitor who will.
Fewer than half of high-net-worth clients reported being satisfied with the philanthropic discussions they’ve had with their advisors, according to the study, which surveyed roughly 100 people with $3 million or more in investable assets who actively make charitable gifts, in addition to 300 advisors.
“Philanthropy can be a differentiator for a manager. It can strengthen a client relationship over the long term and even extend to multiple generations,” says Henry Berman, CEO of Exponent Philanthropy, a philanthropy membership association.