Giving Compass' Take:
- Kris Putnam-Walkerly shares 10 questions that donors should ask to screen potential wealth advisors to ensure the best match.
- Could a wealth advisor, or a different wealth advisor, help you increase your philanthropic impact?
- Read more about what to look for in a wealth advisor.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
1. What is your experience helping clients with charitable giving?
While many wealth advisors may be more than willing to help you and offer their advice, they may not have enough experience or wisdom to help you accomplish your goals or increase your impact.
2. What philanthropy services do you provide?
It is very important to discover what specific philanthropy services your wealth advisor provides. You need a clear picture of the type of support you can expect to receive.
3. What don’t you provide?
Maybe they would be willing to help with strategy and implementation, but aren’t willing to engage the whole family in the philanthropic process.
4. Can you help me develop and implement my philanthropic goals?
Rather than just writing checks and giving money away, you want to be sure your charitable giving is being allocated in the most impactful way possible.
5. How can I involve family in giving?
Philanthropy can be a powerful way to bring family together and pass on a legacy of giving. Ask your wealth advisor or family office about their experience in involving multiple generations in the giving process.
6. How will I know if my donations make an impact? How can we increase that impact?
Most wealth advisors and family offices assist their clients with the transactions of their giving - such as setting up a donor-advised funds, sending checks, and handling the taxes. Fewer help you determine how you can have a transformational impact on the issues and causes you care about, or how to measure them.
7. Given my goals, what are the best vehicles for philanthropic giving?
There are many ways to give. For example, you can issue checks, start a foundation, open a donor-advised fund, set up a charitable remainder trust, or create an LLC.
8. What are the tax implications?
With all the recent tax changes, your wealth advisor should know how each method of giving will affect your tax deductions before you decide on a vehicle for your giving.
9. What education, training, and resources can you provide?
In addition to helping you with specific giving goals, ask what additional resources they are able to provide to assist you and your entire family to gain greater awareness and knowledge of philanthropy. Do they plan and facilitate family retreats? Do they offer relevant educational content? Do they provide training via workshops, webinars, or podcasts.
10. Can you refer me to other philanthropic advisors if my needs exceed what you can provide?
The last thing you want is a wealth advisor who insists on helping you with a need they have never dealt with before just to keep you as a client.
Read the full article about questions for wealth advisors by Kris Putnam-Walkerly at LinkedIn.