Help Your Donors Discover They Can Do More That Matters!

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The results of a recent survey by UBS Wealth Management Americas provide some fascinating insights into what the Middle Class Millionaires in your organization think about their philanthropy.  Here are some highlights that jumped out at me:

  • 91% of all millionaires (those with assets of $1 million or more) donated money or volunteered their time to a favorite charity – with 55% doing both.
  • 52% plan to leave a sizeable part of their wealth (28% of their wealth on average) to charity when they pass away.
  • Yet only 20% of these donors think their gifts are making a difference!
  • Only 9% receive advice on from their financial advisors – because they view this kind of consultation as being only for the very wealthy.
  • Yet nearly half of those 9% who did meet with a financial advisor say they are highly satisfied with the impact their gift has made on the community and broader society. 

The report notes that tax deductions are an afterthought. Because most millionaires give altruistically, they focus less on saving taxes. Many are not even aware of tax strategies beyond basic deductions, even though using such strategies could enable them to give more.

So what are the takeaways from this report – and how can you act on the insights?  From my perspective, this study confirms:

  • Your Middle Class Millionaires (most of whom are undiscovered) are very generous with their time, talent and treasure.  Over half of them (52%) plan to include a substantial bequest for favorite charities!
  • Yet only one in five of these donors rate their current giving approach as highly effective or satisfying.  They typically give haphazardly, in response to requests as they come in. This “checkbook philanthropy” approach leads to lower satisfaction with the impact their gifts are making in their community or world.
  • But those who consulted with a financial advisor about their giving were much more satisfied with the impact of their gifts. And isn’t that sense of satisfaction – the knowledge that their gifts truly matter – something we want all of our donors to experience?

Lesson learned: equip, empower and utilize those financial professional (CPAs, wealth advisors, attorneys, investment bankers, etc.) who are involved with your organization to begin the “activating” conversation with clients and donors – the one that inspires and motivates your donors to do more that matters!

You can read the report here:  http://www.ubs.com/us/en/wealth/misc/investor-watch.html

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