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How Professional Advisors Supported Record Giving in 2020

In the face of a challenging year, donors responded with overwhelming generosity.

Fundholders at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation drove a record year in giving in 2020, increasing grant distributions by 22 percent. With the help of our partners, we granted more than $100 million to the community.

Giving also increased around the country. In October, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project reported that on a year-over-year basis, giving was up nearly 7.5 percent.

Many of these donors worked closely with professional advisors to explore the personal and financial benefits of charitable giving.

As we move into a year of more unknowns, it is good to keep the relevance of charitable giving at the forefront of your conversation with clients. Guiding them through giving conversations can increase their satisfaction and deepen your relationship, not to mention can benefit all of us as we strengthen our communities.

Three Reasons to Incorporate Giving into Your Practice

Professional advisors are including philanthropic planning in their process more and more. When asked why they include philanthropy in their practice, advisors consistently cite three reasons:

  1. Deeper client relationships
  2. Better referrals
  3. A way to develop relationships with the client’s extended family

According to the 2018 study by U.S. Trust, 71 percent of high net worth clients felt discussing philanthropy with their advisors was important, and ranked their advisor second to only their spouse or partner in their value to provide guidance on charitable giving.

"Charitable giving is an important dimension of an individual’s or family’s wealth experience, and the role of the advisor is correspondingly so,” said Ann Limberg, head of philanthropic solutions and family office at U.S. Trust to Businesswire. “The better advisors are at addressing their clients’ philanthropic needs, the more likely they are to enhance their client relationships and grow their business.”

The better advisors are at addressing their clients’ philanthropic needs, the more likely they are to enhance their client relationships and grow their business.

Ann Limberg

Grow Your Practice through Partnership

Because the community’s need was so great in 2020, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation established and grew several funds with our partners, expanding our donors’ giving in ways we never imagined.

Some of these funds include:

Many donors accelerated their giving to support urgent community needs, such as COVID-19 relief efforts and racial equity after the murder of George Floyd. We were also able to introduce our donors to new giving opportunities and helped them find the best ways to support those causes.

Partner with Us for Our Charitable Giving Expertise

You don’t have to be a charitable giving expert to support your clients’ philanthropic goals. We are your community partner and can provide your clients with comprehensive resources such as our digital donor toolkit and expert advice — allowing you to grow your practice by focusing on what you do best.

We will work with your clients to:

  • Understand their charitable goals
  • Determine what type of gift best works for them
  • Easily establish their own charitable funds, such as a donor advised fund

At the Foundation we know even in the midst of chaos, philanthropy is one of the few things that ties us all together. Our hope is that the level of inspired generosity we witnessed from donors in 2020 will continue in 2021, eventually becoming the new normal.

Learn how we can work with you and your clients to realize their charitable goals: Call us at 651.224.5463, email, or reach out to one of our gift planners.

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