A U.S. Trust study found that people want their financial advisors to ask them about charitable giving. In fact, a third of clients surveyed think the topic of charitable giving should be raised in the very first meeting. Yet fewer than half feel their advisors are good at discussing personal or charitable goals with them.

Wondering how to start a conversation about charitable giving with your clients? Or looking to refresh your approach? As part of an ongoing series, we’re asking some of Central New York’s most experienced professional advisors how they “pop the question” about charitable giving to their clients.

Hear from Gary Grossman, Managing Partner, Grossman St. Amour, on how he “pops the question.”

Why do you think it is important to bring up the topic of charitable giving?

Our community has many valuable and important organizations that cannot exist without philanthropic support. If the members of the community don’t support these organizations, no one else will.

How do you learn about your client’s charitable interests?

I am a CPA. I feel comfortable bringing up the subject of philanthropy during our planning meetings. My clients know that I will assist in helping to plan their intentions.

At what point(s) in your process do you bring up/revisit the topic of charitable giving?

I bring up the topic of charitable giving during the tax and financial planning process. It works better during the year as opposed to during the tax preparation meetings.

What questions or ideas about charitable giving do you find resonate the most with your clients?

I like to ask if they have considered plans to include a part of their estate for the community. They are often interested in discussing the amount of giving that will be most beneficial to their particular situation. This usually includes what makes sense for their family. They are also interested in discussing the levels of giving that is reasonable and appropriate for their net worth.

How has your approach changed over the years?

I have become more comfortable in bringing up the topic of community giving without fear that it will compromise my professionalism. In more recent years, I have begun to feel the topic is an integral part of the service I provide.


For more information about Grossman St. Amour please click here.

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