My friend Mo Lidsky of Prime Quadrant sent me the attached link from The Financial Times about philanthropic advisors for donors: http://on.ft.com/IRbGv4.
It is true, more wealthy donors are seeking advice and assistance with their philanthropic giving and some are wisely checking out philanthropic advisors before engaging their services.
A philanthropic advisor is one who provides support and services to donors with their philanthropic giving. Such advisors provide a donor with the confidence that they are supporting the right charities and that their support is making the right impact. While some of us have been in business for quite some time, the concept of a philanthropic advisor is just beginning to gain ground in Canadian donor circles. (They are well known in Great Britain and the USA). Such advisors are not regulated nor is there a basic standard they must adhere to so it is very important for you to be diligent in checking out any potential philanthropic advisors.
What should you look for in a good philanthropic advisor? There are a range of services that philanthropic advisors provide to donors. These may include: helping donors find their passions, assisting in setting up a charitable trust or foundation, investment support, identifying appropriate charities for each donor, monitoring and evaluating the impact of a donor’s gifts and even helping with administrative functions or managing foundations/trusts.
Choosing the right philanthropic advisor is much the same as choosing your wealth manager, your investment advisor or even your banker. Think about what your specific needs are for your giving and what type of services you are really looking for.
Do you need help figuring out just how to get started with your giving or are you already involved with giving and are in need of someone to monitor your gifts and prepare impact reports for you? Perhaps you have inherited a family foundation and need help with its administration. It is good to think about what your specific philanthropic needs are then look for a philanthropic advisor who can best help you in those areas.
When looking for a good philanthropic advisor first and foremost you want someone you can trust and who shares the same values as you. You will also want to make sure the advisor does indeed have some knowledge and expertise in philanthropic giving. What is their background? What do they know about the charitable sector? Are they familiar with the rules and regulations of the Canada Revenue Agency? What knowledge or background does the philanthropic advisor have on understanding, assessing and monitoring charities? What donors has the advisor worked with in the past and can they provide you references?
Now that you know philanthropic advisors exist and can actually help you with your giving, your next question will probably be, where does one find a philanthropic advisor?
You can always ask your banker, investment advisor or wealth manager, however, my best answer is right here: Philanthropic.ca. We specialize in providing a wide range of services to donors. We work with you to determine just what your particular needs are and the best way we can help you increase the impact of your giving. We provide a professional approach to philanthropy based on years of grant making, monitoring, evaluating and assessing philanthropic impact. We help donors find their particular passions and then we assess the right charities for each donor’s particular philanthropic needs. We also provide donors with peace of mind knowing their philanthropic giving is being well managed. We are happy to meet with you to describe our services, what might work best for you and discuss a strategy that will best meet your needs. Give us a call at 416-357-1231 or send us an email at:firstname.lastname@example.org.