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Help clients maximize charitable giving in 2017 amid recent events

Submitted by Brian.Lavelle on December 15, 2017
Hurricane Irma

Help clients maximize charitable giving in 2017 amid recent events

Recent disasters, possible tax reform, and other factors may inspire a historic year for charitable giving. Guide your clients on the best ways to give before year-end.

Many people around the world are grieving recent devastating events. From hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires to the tragedy in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands of families have been impacted and are in need of aid. In response, Americans are actively helping with volunteerism and financial assistance. In two short months, Schwab Charitable™ donors have recommended over 7,000 grants totaling more than $13MM for these causes.

The recent catastrophic events combined with other contributing factors may inspire donors to give more in 2017 than ever before in U.S. history.


Talk to clients about making tax-smart contributions before year-end

Read why 2017 may be a historic year for charitable giving. 

View Schwab Charitable 2017 year-end giving deadlines.

Register for a webcast on Integrating Charitable Planning Into Wealth Management.


How can you help clients who want to support relief efforts or other worthwhile causes?

1. Initiate conversations before year-end 
94% of clients want to talk to their advisor about charitable giving.1 With potential tax reform looming and the possibility of market volatility, now is an ideal time to help clients embrace charitable giving, perhaps more than ever before. Remind clients that tax-deductible contributions for 2017 must be made by December 31 and certain transactions must be initiated much earlier.

2. Educate clients on tax-smart giving strategies 
You can add tremendous value to your clients by helping them give more tax-efficiently. Most clients don’t realize they can make a bigger impact and save more in taxes by contributing appreciated assets instead of giving via cash or check. Donating appreciated non-cash assets that have been held for more than a year can increase the amount clients can give by up to 20%.2

3. Incorporate charitable planning into wealth management 
Charitable planning should be an integral part of your clients' well-rounded wealth management strategy. Help your clients evaluate different giving vehicles (for example, a donor-advised fund, private foundation, charitable trust, or a combination) and select the approach that is most appropriate for them. Then you can revisit charitable giving annually during portfolio review meetings and at various milestones, such as liquidity events and major life transitions.

4. Share tips on the best ways to give 
Disaster relief is another area where you can guide your clients to be more strategic with their giving. Share these best practices from Schwab Charitable to help your clients give more effectively to recent relief efforts.

Advise your clients to:

  • Maximize tax-efficient donations this year. Take advantage of tax benefits in 2017, before potential tax reform and possible market volatility change the landscape of giving.
  • Send funds instead of physical items. This allows charities to allocate resources quickly and efficiently, rather than spending time on trying to sort and distribute goods.
  • Donate to general disaster relief funds. Emergency-relief organizations need unrestricted contributions so they can decide the best way to disperse the gifts.
  • Contribute to charities you can count on. Take care to ensure the organizations you support have a strong, established record of excellence in disaster relief and recovery efforts. Schwab Charitable has partnered with The Center for Disaster Philanthropy to identify qualified charitable organizations providing relief for recent events.
  • Consider a long-term giving strategy. Recovery takes years and requires sustained, long-term support. Consider using a donor-advised fund to establish recurring grants to support relief efforts over an extended timeframe.

Schwab Charitable offers a simple, efficient, tax-smart solution for clients, and valuable support services for advisors. To learn more, visit or follow us on LinkedIn.

Contact your Relationship Manager or call Schwab Charitable at 800-746-6216 to discuss how charitable planning can help you differentiate your service and build deeper client relationships.

If you're thinking about becoming an independent advisor, consider a custodian who invests in your success. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of a custodial relationship with Schwab.