Help Your Client Grow Their Good CauseSubmitted by American Endowment Foundation on August 13th, 2018
By Susan Kay, VP-Business Development, MFS Advisors, Guest Columnist
Over the years, I have had the privilege of learning from some of the most successful advisors in the country. Let me share one of the tips I learned from advisors about the power of charitable giving and how they use it to grow their AUM.
Board Member Research
Do you sit on a charity board?
If so, then I'm going to assume that you know that raising money is the primary fundamental duty that you have when you sit on such a board. You may have the moniker of being the treasurer or the secretary, but really we all know when you sit on a board, it's for fundraising.
Well it's the exact same thing for your clients who sit on charity boards. If you wanted to do something deeply meaningful for your top five clients, then why not help them connect to donors who are passionate about their exact same charitable goals?
Let me give you an example. You have a client whose passion is the furthering or the advancement of education for underprivileged kids. Why not teach your client how to hunt for corporate donors and family foundations who fund education for underprivileged kids?
You can teach these great clients of yours how to find donors who fund the types of charities for which they serve as board members. Access the informational sheet that will give you keystroke-by-keystroke guidance on how they can research likely potential foundations that would fund their charitable cause(s).
First step, visit www.foundationcenter.org . Click on the menu at the top that states Find Funding, and you will see a sub-menu that appears. In that sub-menu select 990 Finder. The 990 is the tax form that foundations use to report their activities. In the Search Box, you can click on More Search Options to expand the available search fields.
I would recommending searching by zip code. Click search and you will see every private family foundation or corporate giving foundation in that city.
Why is this meaningful? The list will be presented in alphabetical order and will show the total assets of each listed foundation. Click on the link for any foundation. For larger ones, the Charitable Donations page is often found approximately around page 30 of their 990. Here, you will see the lists of charities that that foundation gives to.
Let’s go back to our example; you are researching local foundations that support causes that aid underprivileged kids to help your client and the charity for which she is a board member.
If you visit a link to a foundation 990 form, you might see that the foundation gives money to organizations for environmental causes. This foundation is not a good target to approach for funding for underprivileged kids. Move on to another foundation.
You visit the link to another 990 form. That foundation supports causes like the local Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers-Big Sisters and similar organizations. This is a good sign that this foundation would support the charity for underprivileged kids that your client serves.
Scroll further through that 990 and you will come across a list of the Board Members who serve, often including their addresses. On the last page of the 990, you will find the name and address of the accountant that serves the foundation. Now you know the people to approach to ask about how to fill out a request for a grant, and learn the steps to position your group as a deserving funding recipient.
By sharing this wisdom with your client, you endear yourself to them by directing them where to find potential donors for the charities about which they are so passionate. In just a few short minutes you sat with a great HNW client and you’ve taught them how to hunt for money. What a great time to ask for a favor from your client.
Your conversation can go something like this: "If I could attend your next board meeting, I would be happy to teach the rest of your board members how to hunt for these funds as well.”
Now that your client knows you are as equally as passionate about giving back, your client will likely be thrilled to offer you the time, and you have the opportunity to position yourself as a financially savvy person to a new audience of likely HNW individuals.
By utilizing a great idea like the one I featured here, you too can build your AUM to levels you might have never imagined before. Good luck!
At American Endowment Foundation, we look forward to discussing how DAFs can play a role in building your AUM. Contact us or call at 1-888-660-4508 to learn more.