Philanthropy Is an Underrated Tool for Growing Financial Services Businesses
Gideon Taub currently serves as the chief strategy officer at Ren, a leading independent provider of philanthropic services.
Giving away clients’ money may seem counterintuitive for a financial services firm looking to grow its wealth management business. Still, there are benefits for all involved, both from a philanthropic and business enablement perspective. It’s a win-win scenario institutions often overlook.
Firms want to both retain and gain high-net-worth clients. One of the endeavors existing and future clients are typically already engaged in is helping their community through charitable donations – they’re just not doing it through the assistance of their financial institution. Recent studies show that almost 90% of affluent U.S. families currently give to some form of charitable organization – and it can be substantial amounts that are rooted in deep emotional ties to the cause or organization itself. These potential clients are good patrons and connected to acts of charitable goodwill through a commitment that stands out among their other activities.
Philanthropic giving stands as an underutilized tool that can improve and deepen a financial institution’s relationship with its clients. Almost 50% of affluent donors say they’re unsatisfied with the philanthropic conversations they’re having with their financial advisors. That can easily translate into money leaving the institution to work with other professionals and businesses to create strategic giving plans – and the contributions can be significant and ongoing.
Why not keep that philanthropic piece of the puzzle in-house and fully harness client relationships? Differentiation among other institutions is key for growth. Discussing philanthropic desires with clients is the first obvious step but maintaining that collaboration with clients is what spawns opportunities for further growth. For example, a financial institution with its own publicly marketed charitable efforts attracts like-minded clients with philanthropic intentions. Additionally, these clients see giving as a way to make an impact and less as a transactional moment. Institutions should prioritize services that illustrate how clients’ charitable dollars are being used. From broader social impact to how clients progress towards their individual philanthropic goals, there is an appetite for visually understanding one’s influence on their cause or community.
Institutions pride themselves on their corporate identity and lengthy time in business, their well-known brand(s), professionalism, and overall implied expertise. Charitable giving services can become another powerful tool that underscores the firm’s holistic approach to their services – showing clients there’s really no need to go elsewhere when it comes time to either begin giving or continue building a legacy full of generational philanthropic endeavors. Any institution committed to establishing philanthropic-related services can do so quickly, harnessing the expertise of third parties and technology tools that focus on charitable giving and integrating easily within existing systems already relied upon by financial advisors.
Expanding your role in clients’ financial planning only increases the opportunity for ongoing growth and impact. It’s the added trust that comes with consistently helping to arrange heartfelt plans and transactions that generates an ongoing win-win for all.
Gideon Taub currently serves as the chief strategy officer at Ren (www.reninc.com), a leading independent provider of philanthropic services.
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