Charitable planning discussions between financial advisors and clients have surged in recent years, driven by legislative changes, shifting client priorities and a growing awareness of the financial advisor’s role in expanding philanthropic impact.

Here are 10 compelling reasons why financial advisors should embrace these conversations:

1. Stronger Client Relationships
Initiating charitable conversations demonstrates genuine interest in clients beyond managing their assets, fostering deeper connections and trust.

2. Deeper Client Interactions
By engaging clients in discussions about their charitable goals, financial advisors can expand their involvement in the financial planning process and align strategies with clients’ values.

3. Expanding Client Base
Cultivating relationships with a client’s spouse and children via charitable conversations increases the likelihood you will retain – and even gain – business across generations.

4. Differentiating Services
Incorporating charitable planning into advisory services sets you apart from competitors, providing a unique value proposition that resonates with clients and prospects.

5. Increased Assets Under Management
Charitable planning discussions can lead to additional assets under management as clients seek guidance on donating illiquid assets or donating previously unmanaged assets that financial advisors can administer through a donor-advised fund.

6. Complex Donation Experience
Through charitable giving, financial advisors can assist clients in donating illiquid assets such as privately held securities, cryptocurrency or real estate, expanding their scope of charitable giving options.

7. Stickier Engagement
Charitable conversations create ongoing, positive dialogue focused on clients’ passions and values, shifting the focus from market fluctuations to meaningful impact.

8. Improved Timing
Encouraging clients to make donations throughout the year rather than just in December reduces year-end stress and streamlines administration for both you and your client.

9. Better Operational Efficiency
Recommending donations to donor-advised funds or facilitating donations of appreciated assets minimizes administrative burdens for financial advisors and their staff.

10. Bigger Professional Network
Collaborating with clients’ accountants and attorneys on charitable planning enhances advisor-client relationships and increases the likelihood of cross-referrals.

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American Endowment Foundation (AEF) is one of the nation’s largest independent donor-advised fund sponsors. AEF expands philanthropy by partnering with firms and advisors in the financial services industry, enabling more donors to create a significant charitable impact. To learn more about AEF’s resources for donors and financial advisors, or to open a donor-advised fund, visit or call us at 1-888-966-8170.