Philanthropic advice builds ‘clients for life’

Advisers who add philanthropic advice to their value proposition could see it create clients “for life”, according to a microfinance provider.

Shadforth Financial Group head of philanthropic services and member of Opportunity International Australia, Kevin Bailey told ifa that advisers who don’t provide structured philanthropy advice could be missing a core business opportunity.

“As a fringe benefit, [philanthropy] makes the adviser’s role much more meaningful and interesting and it builds a heart to heart relationship with the client that is not just at a head leve,l” Mr Bailey said.

“This can bind the client to that adviser - often for life - and you don’t get that if you’re just doing the numbers for somebody and they’ve got just a purely professional, numbers-based approach.

“It means they’ve actually got something that they can share which deepens the relationship to a level that advisers just wouldn’t have dreamt of if they weren’t involved in the sector.”

The 2012 Opportunity Donor Survey found that only 2.1 per cent of respondents have a financial planner that offers financial advice around philanthropy, making it an underserviced sector of advice.

Mr Bailey said that while some financial planners may mention charity around the end of the financial year due to tax advantages, the benefits of giving exists throughout the calendar year.

“A number of financial planners are aware of philanthropy, they’re aware of the opportunities but they’re not even conscious that they should be releasing that, or they almost try and second guess their clients by assuming they won’t be interested,” Mr Bailey said.

“It really comes down to the fact that when you’re doing the retirement planning, people find that they start to have more time on their hands, so when we’re talking about philanthropic planning, we’re actually talking about their time, their talent and their treasure.

“It’s asking, 'Is it that I’ve actually got the potential to influence my community, to influence society?'”

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