Three Reasons Why Philanthropy is Important to the Financial Industry

The financial services industry is one of the most philanthropic sectors in the modern business world. Giving back generously is, of course, an act of kindness that makes the world a better place and makes the giver feel good. But in the financial advisor community, there are good reasons beyond pure altruism to engage in charitable work. Here are three of them:

Clients care, so their advisors should too.

Philanthropy is often an important component of the financial planning services that advisors provide to their clients. InvestmentNews recently reported that charitable giving via donor-advised funds is on the rise, with Fidelity, Vanguard and Schwab all citing increases in donation and grant activity via these investment vehicles in 2017.

Advisors who are actively involved in charitable causes demonstrate to clients that they have personal experience with the non-profit sector, increasing their credibility as experts on the topic of philanthropic giving. But even more importantly, when advisors are passionate about giving back, it shows clients that they share their most deeply held values. 2011 IIO Mentoring Excellence Award Finalist Grant Blindbury explains:

“As an advisor who works with many philanthropic clients, the recognition and exposure from Invest in Others also generated increased credibility that I ‘walk the walk’ with them side by side in our giving. Working with philosophically aligned professionals is a powerful draw and IIO significantly contributed to our positioning as such.”

Volunteering strengthens communities.

Many financial advisors are business owners who play active roles in their communities. Getting involved in local charities represents an opportunity to use their skills, strengths and resources to improve the places where they live and work.

2017 IIO Volunteer of the Year Finalist Mary Brooks is an example of one such advisor. The mission of Mary’s chosen charity, the White Pony Express (WPE), is “to help eliminate hunger and poverty in Contra Costa County, Calif. by delivering the abundance all around us to those in need.” WPE accomplishes this by picking up surplus food and goods from retailers and citizens, and delivering them to those with need. The team that Mary leads has collected and given away more than 250,000 items of new and like-new clothing, 95,000 toys and children’s books, and hundreds of backpacks full of emergency goods to families in need in her community.

Philanthropy is an investment in the future.

Investing for the long term is the foundation of sound financial planning. Every day, financial advisors help their clients plan for the future, whether that’s by setting goals for retirement or deploying wealth to establish a legacy.

Philanthropy is a way for financial professionals to invest in the long term on a broader scale by contributing their time, skills and resources to worthy causes like education, health and human services, and others that contribute to a brighter future.

Click here to learn more about how IIO celebrates and supports financial advisors who give back.