1. Help clients give away more of their money. Yes, really.

    For high-net-worth clients, there are few sources as trusted as financial advisors for information on charitable giving.

    In fact, when it comes to philanthropic decisions, advisors are bested only by one other type of confidant: spouses and partners, according to a survey by U.S. Trust.

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    1. Philanthropy can be a differentiator for a manager. It can strengthen a client relationship over the long term and even extend to multiple generations.
    2. Younger generations tend to be more social-minded than previous generations, and this is a good way to build a relationship with them.
    3. Some advisors think they are hurting themselves by doing the right thing, but what we've found is the opposite. Helping clients give away money makes you a more valuable resource to them.
    4. One way to gauge how that client views charitable giving without putting them on the spot and asking is by reviewing several years of tax returns to understand how they gave and how much they gave.
    5. Every year, I give away 2% of my company's top-line revenue to a charity my clients choose. I send out a survey and allow them to vote for one of three nonprofits I've selected they would like the money to go to.
    6. It's more crucial than ever to understand a client's tax situation, and whether they are expected to itemize or take the standard deduction each year, in order to optimize their charitable giving each year.
    7. If someone gave $10,000 per year to various charities, we might recommend contributing three to five years worth of gifts ($30,000 to $50,000 in this example) into a donor-advised fund.
    8. If a family sets up a donor-advised fund or private foundation, grantors can include children and grandchildren as donor-advisors or trustees, or at the very least, set aside some annual grants to be made as family decisions.
    9. Planners can be more involved in the actual giving strategy by helping them identify and articulate what causes they want to focus on.
    10. I recently met with a couple that wanted to be giving more. The husband's dad was a big giver and he had seen how it shaped his outlook and wanted to model that for his own sons, but they weren't doing any giving with the kids.