Why It's Important to Discuss Giving with Your Clients, Even During Tumultuous Times

Why It’s Important to Discuss Giving with Your Clients, Even During Tumultuous Times

By Joe Baldasare, former Chief Development Officer, The Dayton Foundation

Although the market has been somewhat tumultuous and inflation has run amuck, philanthropy still is in the hearts of many of your clients. We often mistakenly presume that the primary reason people give charitably is for the tax break. While the tax incentive is one benefit of charitable giving, it isn't necessarily the motivation behind why people give. I can point to multiple studies and a variety of lists explaining this and can assure you that tax benefit is nowhere near the top of any list.

In my more than 40 years as a nonprofit and development professional, I have helped people help others for a variety of reasons. They may give because they want to help eradicate a disease or make a positive impact on a negative situation in their community or in the world. They may give because they have been touched by an organization and the work it does. Or, they may give to support a friend or loved one who is passionate about a particular cause. Whatever the reason and no matter the economic climate, The Dayton Foundation has more than 4,000 fund holders whose desire to do good and help others is a driving force behind their charitable giving.

With this in mind, we recommend that you continue to have conversations about charitable giving with your clients, even during unstable economic times. Some advisors make the mistake of only having charitable conversations once a year, usually around the holiday giving season, but they should occur regularly, as your clients' life circumstances may have changed. We saw an uptick in deferred giving during the pandemic, most likely because many people faced their own mortality and asked themselves, “What will my legacy be after I'm gone?” Many of our donors come to us when they are facing life-changing events and are looking for ways they can help others who are experiencing similar circumstances.

Economic volatility has never stopped individuals who have the capacity to give. In many cases quite the opposite has occurred, and they give more. During the height of some recent trying times in the Dayton Region, we saw donations skyrocket. People wanted to do something and make a difference during COVID, after the Oregon District mass shooting and in the aftermath of the 2019 tornados that ripped through parts of our community. We still are recovering from these occurrences, and the market is struggling to find its footing, yet more people are giving to causes and opening new charitable funds through The Dayton Foundation to support our community. Fiscal year 2022 is on track to be our best year in our 100-year history of opening new funds and distributing grants.

Discussing charitable giving and what is important to your clients affords you the opportunity to create a closer relationship with them. It allows them to open up about issues they would have never thought to share with you. The Dayton Foundation offers many charitable giving options that can help your clients realize their charitable goals. Whether it is gifting real estate, an IRA required minimum distribution or proceeds from the sale of a business, the Foundation can assist you in finding the charitable giving vehicle that works for them. Contact Michelle Lovely at (937) 222-0410 to help you help your clients make a difference in the community and beyond.

Please note: The Dayton Foundation does not practice law or offer financial or tax advice. The Foundation recommends that people considering establishing funds or legacies through the Foundation consult their financial, tax or legal advisor.