Engaging clients who show no interest in charitable giving can be difficult but ultimately beneficial.  By understanding clients’ motivations and concerns, financial advisors can start conversations that can ultimately lead to meaningful philanthropy.

Consider the following 10 tips when getting the conversations started:

1. Recognize Potential Barriers
It may seem that noncharitable clients simply want to preserve their lifestyle. However, many lack connection with charitable organizations, have concerns about how their donation will be used or fear constant solicitation.

2. Highlight Impactful Events
Global crises like pandemics, wars and natural disasters have underscored the importance of philanthropy. Use these events as conversation starters to uncover what is important to your client.

  1. Ask Thought-Provoking Questions
  • What communities, people or institutions have been influential to your life, business or family?
  • Are there issues you are passionate about addressing?
  • Would you like to leave a legacy, and if so, what would it look like?
  • Have you named any charitable beneficiaries in your estate plan?
  • Which family members, colleagues or friends do you admire, and what causes do they support?
  1. Address Client Concerns
    Understand and address specific concerns such as asset preservation, family unity and tax optimization. Tailor your approach to alleviate these concerns and show the benefits of charitable giving. Explain the importance of aligning financial, tax and legal strategies with clients’ philanthropic goals.
  2. Frame Giving as a Wise Alternative
    Emphasize that deciding what to do with their assets is a choice between leaving money to the government, heirs or charity. Highlight the importance of intentional planning to avoid undesired outcomes.
  3. Introduce Charitable Options
    Explore various charitable vehicles, including donor-advised funds as a simple and effective means of giving. Highlight the flexibility and ease of use offered by donor-advised funds.Offer Support
    Address concerns about complexity or responsibility, offering assistance for getting started. Mention the availability of philanthropic advisory firms and other resources, which are available through entities like American Endowment Foundation.
  4. Highlight Client Preferences
    Reinforce the client’s autonomy in choosing where their funds go and how they’re used. Emphasize the control and impact clients can have through strategic philanthropy.
  5. Emphasize Personal Choice
    Pose a hypothetical scenario in which clients must choose between having no choice and leaving money to the government or giving toward a cause they choose. Highlight the empowering nature of charitable giving as a personal choice.
  6. Go Slowly
    Initiate multiple conversations over time rather than expecting immediate results. Planting the seeds of philanthropy gradually can lead to eventual engagement.https://www.aefonline.org/blog/encourage-non-philanthropic-clients-give-these-tips


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 aefonline.org or call us at 1-888-966-8170.