Is Your Clients’ Charitable Plan Your Business?

Tax calculator and penBy Michael I. Friedman, J.D.
Senior Vice President
Planned Giving and Endowment

Did you know that 98 percent of high-net-worth individuals are involved in philanthropy? If you are not advising your client regarding his or her philanthropy, you are, quite simply, not serving fully your more affluent (and many times, not as affluent) client’s financial needs. You are also missing out on opportunities to deepen existing client relationships, distinguish yourself from your competition and attract new business.

In order for you to compete effectively in the marketplace, the more that you understand how charitable gift planning can help build wealth, reduce tax exposure and transfer funds to the next generation, the more valuable you can be to your clients.

You strive to help your clients plan their finances and estates to maximize financial benefits for themselves and their families.  But have you considered asking your clients what is really important to them?

Making the most of your relationships with your clients and helping your clients get the most out of their plans boils down to two fundamental principles:

  • The values that drive your clients’ decisions about philanthropy are the same values that underlie their business, financial and family planning.
  • Understanding the tax and charitable planning techniques available to your clients will help your clients maximize the resources that they can apply to express those values through philanthropy.

Now that the dust has settled with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (appropriately enough, on January 1, 2013), your clients will be asking what the changes mean to them; some may even ask how it might affect their charitable planning. Higher tax rates for your high net worth clients, deduction limitations, phase-out of personal exemptions – all of these can impact a plan.  But your clients’ desires to make sure that their businesses are strong, their families well cared for, and the causes they care about are supported do not change. Only the techniques that you advise them to use to maximize the value of their plans will change.

Find answers to your charitable planning questions at THE ASSOCIATED.

  • Research the law and find practice pointers at the Planned Giving Design Center>>
  • For client-friendly explanations and illustrations of how they can make a charitable plan, visit THE ASSOCIATED’s planned giving website>>
  • Attend the Planned Giving Round Table – quarterly continuing education programs featuring nationally recognized and local experts on tax, charitable, and estate planning issues.
  • If you want more personalized education about planned giving opportunities and techniques, contact Daniela Levine at to schedule a presentation at your office for your colleagues.

The year ahead is full of promise for you and your clients.  THE ASSOCIATED invites your clients to partner with us and engage in thoughtful planning, innovative programming, decisive action, and inspiring philanthropy.  Your clients have questions.  We have answers.


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Filed under Philanthropy, Professionals

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