Driving change: The role of Financial Planners in philanthropy

by Philip Reynolds

Before joining the profession, I must admit that I underestimated the extent to which philanthropy and charitable giving forms part of the conversations Financial Planners have with clients but also how much advisers and other businesses in the financial services profession do to support the causes they care about.

Anytime I look at LinkedIn, I always see at least one or two instances of a Financial Planner, provider, paraplanner or administrator taking on a noble activity to raise money for a worthy cause.

Our very own founder at Plan Works, Nathan Fryer, is embarking on a series of challenges over a 10-month period to celebrate Plan Works’ 10-year anniversary. Alongside this, we will be launching a fundraiser for Centrepoint, who dedicate their efforts to empower young people dealing with homelessness to reach success in their lives.

How do Financial Planners empower charitable giving with their clients

Philanthropy and charitable giving can be quite an important topic for clients when talking about their finances. Often when clients are in the decumulation stages of their lives, it doesn’t just mean spending their savings and investments, but also giving. When clients feel like they have enough money in their metaphorical bucket to never have to worry about running out, they often turn to supporting causes that mean a lot to them.

It is becoming more common for Financial Planners to talk around the topic of charitable giving when considering how their client’s finances align with their values. Often, a comprehensive Financial Plan can liberate clients into spending money in areas they wouldn’t necessarily have done so before. Charitable giving is a good example of this.

Of course, charitable giving itself is a useful financial planning tool for Financial Planners, particularly for older clients or clients concerned with their potential Inheritance Tax liability. Any charitable donations made by clients in their Wills are taken off before Inheritance Tax is calculated. In addition, if clients leave more than 10% of their net estate to charity, any Inheritance Tax payable will be paid at a lower rate.

The future of charitable giving in financial planning

As charities evolve and offer more innovative ways for people to donate and get involved in their causes, there are interesting developments in the financial planning space to make it easier for clients to support the causes they care about.

Growing adviser platform Fundment have facilitated the ability for clients to donate to The Global Returns Project directly from their investments. From speaking to Financial Planners, it is clear that clients do want to donate to worthy causes. However, a pain point is often having to actively sign up to a charity and go through the administration process.

I see the option as part of an asset allocation process; being able to allocate an amount of capital or income to charitable causes via a platform removes the administration from their side and results in little extra administration for the Financial Planner.

The other benefit to giving directly from the platform is that the client doesn’t necessarily ‘feel’ the loss of the contribution as much as if it were coming from their current account alongside their bills. Clients are likely to feel more comfortable with this and feel as though they can afford to support the causes they care about.


Platform technology, in my opinion, changing to be able to facilitate charitable giving from a client’s portfolio can only be a positive step. By being able to automate donations and reduce the administration for client, more clients will be able to easily support the causes that they care deeply about.

The financial planning space is one of the most philanthropic sectors and, in my view, fantastic financial planning businesses will continue to have causes they support, as well as members of those businesses continuing to take on various challenges to raise money for their chosen charities. I can only see this continuing to grow over time.

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