"Why do professional advisors invite a dialogue about philanthropy? Because their clients expect them to." - From the Forum for Regional Grantmakers, written by Andrew Spurrier and Nancy Roberts Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.
Actually, maybe advisors should discuss life, vision, values, goals, dreams, hopes and aspirations with their clients. They should discuss what it means to have a successful life or a successful plan. They might discuss what keeps a client awake at night, or the client's sense of what his or her community needs. The advisor might disucss leadership, whether client wishes to be engaged as volunteer, Board member, a civic leader, an agent for constructive change. The advisor might discuss the client's aspirations for children, and the role of generosity and volunteering in child-rearing.When advisors rise to this level of intimacy and vision, "philanthropy" becomes not the end, but the means to what the client cherishes, now, later, and forever. Sometimes, the word philanthropy is not even used. Instead the client may talk of stewardship, "social investment," giving back, paying it forward, getting engaged, downshifting, taking a leadership role, taking on an important issue, leaving a legacy, being a giver, or making a tithe.
Talk about making a difference - and most are interested. Ask about philanthropy and very few rise to the question. Ask about children and money, and the parents get up, close the door, and bend forward with faces interested and conerned. From there, from that point of passion, to giving, the conversation readily takes it own course. We all want a better world for our children, and children who are healthy minded and productive citizens. You can't get there without giving.