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Questions to Consider When Thinking About Your Charitable Giving

Reading Time - 2.3 min Category -
  • Philanthropy

Mark Brandsma

Partner, Relationship Manager, Financial & Estate Planner VIEW BIO

Encouraging and promoting generosity is one of the foundational reasons that our company exists

It excites and inspires me to talk with clients who have big ideas and big action about how they want to use their wealth to make a difference in this world.

Encouraging and promoting generosity is one of the foundational reasons that our company exists, so it is common for us to get into conversations with clients about their charitable giving.

By asking a series of questions, we get them to articulate their perspectives and experiences, leading to increased clarity about their motivations and interests regarding giving. As you can imagine, there is a lot of variety.

In a recent conversation, a client indicated his passion for trees and desire to support organizations that plant trees and promote a healthy environment.  I have spoken to a couple who direct their giving to building schools in Uganda.  Another who supports an addiction recovery ministry.  The list could go on.

Interestingly, it is common for a husband and wife to have varying perspectives in this area….. This is totally fine, but just adds to the conversation.

It is also important to acknowledge that for some, past experiences around giving have not always been positive or fulfilling.  So, you address what went wrong and what can be different going forward.

Allow me to offer a sample of questions that we ask our clients:

  • What motivates you to give?
  • Do you direct your giving to certain causes, or to people that you know?
  • Do you give primarily to faith-based organizations or doesn’t matter?
  • Is your giving tied to income, your net worth? Or nothing in particular?
  • Do you have specific goals for your giving, or is it more fluid?
  • Are you one who likes to give publicly, so as to inspire others, or are you more low key?

Through this process of asking questions, prompting dialogue, and increasing clarity, our goal is to see clients gain a greater vision for their charitable involvement.  They are enthusiastic because they are clear on what they care about most, get connected to trustworthy organizations, and have confidence they are making a positive difference with the resources they have been blessed with.

If you would like a platform to discuss your charitable giving, I am happy to help. 

Please contact me