Charitable giving is one of the most important and fulfilling things you can do with your money, but it’s often not as easy as just writing off a check. If you want to navigate the world of philanthropy as effectively as possible, you might consider hiring a philanthropy advisor. Read on to find out what philanthropy advisors do, and how they might help you.
What is a Philanthropy Advisor?
Philanthropy advisors are similar to financial advisors, but instead of strategizing about your investments, they strategize about your donations, and help you prepare a lifetime plan for philanthropy.
“Knowing how and where to give to maximize impact requires experience and expertise that many individual donors and families don’t have, especially when first getting started,” explains a guide to philanthropy advisors by Fidelity Charitable. “Even donors who have gained considerable knowledge about philanthropy may not have the time to develop and implement a strategy.” By offloading some of this strategy to a philanthropy advisor, you can be assured that your charitable goals are being pursued even while you focus on other work.
What do Philanthropy Advisors Do?
A philanthropy advisor should help their clients plan and implement charitable giving as strategically as possible. This means that philanthropic advisors aren’t just transferring your money to charities; they’re using financial tools to get the most bang for your buck, helping you prioritize your charitable values, and setting plans for longterm giving.
Why Hire a Philanthropy Advisor
If you’re considering obtaining an advisor in philanthropy, here are seven skills that these specialists can bring to your charitable giving:
- They’re experts on strategic charitable giving
From knowing how to maximize your charitable tax benefit to knowing how to maximize your donations, philanthropic advisors are invaluable resources to the sometimes confusing world of large-scale philanthropy. They know how to use tools like foundations, donor advised funds, and charitable trusts to make sure your money goes as far as it can.
- They can help you set charitable goals
Philanthropy is about solving problems in your community and world, and setting achievable, measurable goals within your philanthropy. From how much money you give each year, to the quantitative results that money is achieving, advisors can help you conceptualize how you’re contributing to that problem solving.
- They can help you form relationships within the nonprofit world
Philanthropic advisors have built-in relationships with charitable and community leaders, and they can be your guide into this sometimes daunting scene. These introductions can often prompt new opportunities to get involved with your cause of choice.
- They help keep your goals on track
When you’re busy, keeping a philanthropic advisor ensures that your philanthropy never falls by the wayside. Regular meetings with your philanthropic advisor can help you focus on wider goals for your world, beyond career and family successes.
- They can be resources for different kinds of charitable giving
Whether you’re looking for guidance on short-term, long-term, or occasional charitable goals, philanthropy advisors have solutions for you. You don’t have to keep a financial advisor on hold to manage your charitable giving for the rest of your life; you may choose to turn to them instead when you wish to make the best use of a newly obtained inheritance or trust fund, for instance.
- They know the charitable landscape
Philanthropy advisors know what charities use their money most effectively, and they can help direct you to causes where your money is most needed. Advisors can make sure your money goes to well-run organizations that are focused on tangible outcomes.
- They can help you navigate tricky conversations
Often, your money isn’t just YOUR money—it’s money your entire family relies on. Philanthropy advisors help families come together to set philanthropic goals as a unit, and can navigate some of the tensions that may naturally arise.
Getting Started with a Philanthropy Advisor
Philanthropy advisors aren’t for everyone, but they can be a great first (or next) step for philanthropists who want to focus on giving strategically. Having an advisor who can help you set and meet charitable goals can lift a weight from your shoulders, and teach you about charitable giving without setting you up for failure.