Top tips for having philanthropy conversations with your clients

Community Foundations work with professional advisors all across NZ and many tell us that philanthropy conversations in the will-making process provide real fulfillment in their client relationships.

Many Kiwis want to make a difference, however many don’t know how to go about it.

We also see many people who genuinely do not know what to do with their wealth, or how they can give it away wisely. Your professional advice can be key for clients knowing their options and feeling empowered to make a difference.

Our top tips for having philanthropy conversations:

  • Advise your clients to consider family first
  • Explore your clients interests and passions and ask, “have you been involved in any volunteering”, and “are there any particular causes you care about?”
  • Ask “have you considered leaving a gift in your will to a charity or cause you care about?” and, “it’s something other people do.”
  • If there is interest, explain the options:

- Direct charitable gift, find out the charity number at Charities Services

- Invested endowment fund, where your client decides on areas of interest and causes to support, which can be managed in perpetuity by their local Community Foundation - see our fund calculator here

- Set up a separate charitable trust – refer to guide at Charities Services

  • Determine level of gift – pecuniary, percentage or residual gift (for charitable giving, we would recommend a percentage which captures your client’s intent clearly).
  • Always advise your clients to inform their family and any other beneficiaries of their philanthropic plans

Read Kirsten Harper's story here

“I love the opportunities having these discussions presents. I find many of my clients do want to leave something in their wills for a charitable purpose, however they don’t always know the right vehicle to do this".

Kirsten Harper headshot Kirsten Harper, Principal, Treadwell Gordon