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November 17, 2015

Wealthy Donors Seldom Turn to Professionals for Giving Advice

Well-to-do donors seeking guidance on giving are far more likely to consult high-net-worth peers than philanthropic or financial advisers, The New York Times writes, citing a new survey by Foundation Source. In his Wealth Matters column, Times financial writer Paul Sullivan enlarges on the findings by looking at the steps several start-up philanthropists took in getting their giving off the ground.

For many, the bulk of their giving goes to big institutions, something a professional adviser is unlikely to recommend. But that kind of gift often runs counter to their philanthropic goals.

According to Foundation Source, which provides administrative help for charitable funds, most philanthropists with small foundations lack knowledge on effective giving but are reluctant to seek professional advice. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they look to a "philanthropic peer" for help, 16 percent seek a philanthropy consultant, and 12 percent talk to a financial adviser. Twenty-eight percent said they don't ask anyone, preferring to make their own calls on giving.