It’s September and, if Google is to be believed, nonprofit organizations are already courting donors for their end-of-year campaigns. Google’s recent survey shows that donors are actively researching organizations as early as September before deciding who to support. Many nonprofits cover the usual bases — they revamp their webpages, refresh their branding, and feverishly plan special events. But lots of organizations overlook a valuable relationship that could be very beneficial to them; financial planners are a great resource for nonprofits and potential donors alike. So that begs the question:
What Makes a Financial Planner a Valuable Fundraising Ally?
Their Clients Need to Make Charitable Gifts
A financial adviser’s job is to help their clients make wise financial decisions and build wealth management strategies. Those strategies often include making tax-deductible gifts to nonprofit or faith-based organizations. Tracy Kimbrough is a CPA and Shareholder at accounting firm Baylis & Company PA in Lakeland, Florida; she says it’s not uncommon for clients to ask her to recommend nonprofits that they might want to support financially, particularly at the end of the year. “Smart nonprofits see the wisdom in working with local accountants and financial advisers,” she said. She noted that financial advisers can connect clients to nonprofits that interest them, and nonprofits have another source for donor referrals and fundraising.
They Help Clients with Planned Giving and Estate Planning
People ask for their financial adviser’s recommendations for other kinds of gifts, too. Planned giving and estate planning are two important parts of successful financial strategies, and clients may ask financial planners for recommendations about local nonprofits during the estate planning process. This is particularly common if an individual has no living family or wishes to bequeath a portion of their estate to charity. Building relationships with financial planners can help you connect with potential donors.
Tax Season Is Coming
If you don’t have a working relationship with a financial adviser, there’s no time like the present to start building those bridges! Just like nonprofits scramble to finish all their end-of-the-year campaigns, lots of individuals wait until the very last minute to make their annual charitable donations. When that happens, they often don’t have the time to do much research into any one nonprofit organization and are more likely to solicit outside recommendations.
How Do I Establish a Relationship with a Financial Planner?
Put Yourself Out There
If you want to meet lots of financial advisers, figure out where they congregate. Kimbrough suggests researching trade organizations (both locally and nationally!) and sponsoring their events. You can also choose to be an exhibitor at conferences and get-togethers, which is a perfect opportunity to meet local financial advisers. You can also invite local firms to your organization’s events or fundraisers.
Kimbrough notes that it’s common for financial advisers to be involved in the local community. Attending local events, serving on local boards and committees, and focusing on networking with local businesses can all offer amazing opportunities to connect with people who would make good partners.