Advisers key to increasing charitable giving

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Advisers play a key role in increasing philanthropy in Australia, accoording to a leading financial services firm.

Perpetual's National Manager of Philanthropy & Not Profit Services Catriona Fay said financial advisers play a key role in increasing charitable giving as Australia is set to experience its greatest ever intergenerational transfer of wealth over the next two decades.

“Over the coming years, Baby Boomers will be working increasingly closely with their trusted advisers to put estate plans in place, making it important for financial planners to know how to discover and guide their clients’ charitable intentions,” Fay said.

The comments coincide with Include a Charity Week, a joint initiative of more than 100 of the country's leading charities aimed at encouraging Australians to include a charitable gift in their will. According to Include a Charity, while 87% of Australians support charities during their lifetime, only 29% say they'd be willing to leave a charitable donation in their will and only 7.5% end up doing so. The alliance's goal is to increase this number to 15% by 2020.

Fay said advisers had an important role to play in this effort.

“There is clearly an immense opportunity for trusted advisers to positively influence the levels of charitable giving in Australia, but they must know how to raise the issue with clients," Fay said.

Fay said advisers should introduce the issue of charitable giving in conversations around estate planning.

“Helping clients to consider their philanthropic intentions can have significant advantages for advisers, by deepening their client relationships, allowing them to engage with the next generation, differentiating their service offering and increasing client referrals,” Fay said.