In this episode, we explore The U.S. Trust Study of The Philanthropic Conversation with Rebecca Miller, Senior Philanthropic Advisor with The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI). TPI and U.S. Trust partner on the study to explore the extent and dynamics of philanthropic conversations happening between high-net-worth individuals and their professional advisors.
Professional advisors play an important role in helping individuals and families steward their wealth—and a big part of this for many families includes making decisions about philanthropy. The goal of the study is to understand how conversations around philanthropy are taking place, and what can be done to develop more and better dialog. Ultimately, these conversations lead to deeper relationships between individuals and their advisors, and they result in more meaningful philanthropic impact.
During the interview, Rebecca highlights key findings from the study and explains how the information can be used by high-net-worth individuals and advisors alike.
Here are just a few interesting takeaways:
- 71 percent of high-net-worth individuals surveyed think that it’s important to have a conversation about philanthropy with their advisors.
- Conversations around philanthropy are growing. In 2013, 55% of clients reported having these conversations with their advisors. This year that figure jumped to 67%.
- Individuals rank their advisor as second only to their spouse or partner as the most valuable source of information about philanthropy in their life.
- There’s a disconnect between advisors and clients and how they see the conversation related to philanthropy. Clients prefer to talk about philanthropy much sooner in the relationship than advisors assume.
Dive deeper by checking out The U.S. Trust Study of the Philanthropic Conversation executive summary or the full report. You can also learn more at ustrust.com/philanthropy. You can also find Rebecca on LinkedIn or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this episode:
- Meet Rebecca Miller (6:15)
- Why is it important to have a study on advisors and the philanthropic conversation? (7:23)
- Tell us about the key findings from the study (8:50)
- How do you define ‘trusted advisors’ or ‘professional advisors’? (15:13)
- Advice for managing asks for support from organizations (15:58)
- What can clients and advisors do to have better conversations around philanthropy? (19:10)
- Were there any surprises in the study? (22:30)
- For advisors, is the philanthropic conversation good for business? (24:42)
- What’s been the response to the study? (25:30)
- TPI’s partnership with U.S. Trust on the study (26:35)
- How to learn more (27:17)
- Bonus questions (28:40)
Notable & Quotable:
We’ve seen a real change in how professional advisors think about philanthropy and how they prioritize it in their work with families. —Rebecca Miller #successfulgenerations
It’s important for advisors to understand what clients want to get out of the conversation. —Rebecca Miller #successfulgenerations
When it comes to managing asks, the best defense is a good offense. By having the conversations upfront— deciding on your giving strategy, putting in place criteria for who you want to support and why—makes it much easier to deal with questions and manage asks from organizations seeking funding. —Rebecca Miller #successfulgenerations
Families should bring up philanthropy with their advisors. Be clear about what you’re interested in and why. —Rebecca Miller #successfulgenerations
Many advisors have systems in place to help their clients think about philanthropy. Some of those most successful advisors have articles or intake questionnaires to help address those personal passion areas early on in the conversation. —Rebecca Miller #successfulgenerations
Executive Summary: The U.S. Trust Study of the Philanthropic Conversation
Full Report: The U.S. Trust Study of the Philanthropic Conversation
Rebecca Miller has spent her career supporting global grassroots civil society and advocating for its influence in decision-making processes. At TPI, Rebecca works primarily with family and independent foundations conducting impactful grantmaking to non-profit organizations; with corporate clients, designing strategic corporate grants initiatives; and on research to identify innovations, gaps, and opportunities in international philanthropy. As part of TPI’s Center for Global Philanthropy, Rebecca has a particular focus on supporting clients to design, implement, and evaluate philanthropy that benefits people across the globe.
Rebecca previously served as a Technical Advisor on Resilience, Governance, and Partnership at the international development and humanitarian organization Mercy Corps, supporting country programs to develop strong partnerships with local organizations, advising them on ways to effectively engage civil society, and assisting efforts to hold local governments accountable to the needs of communities. With a global portfolio, Rebecca had a particular focus on the humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis across the Middle East.
Rebecca has also worked for Hunt Alternative Fund’s Institute for Inclusive Security, which advocates for the full participation of all stakeholders in formal peace processes. She managed the organization’s grant-making program, where she led the development of partnerships with global organizations to mainstream gender into their work. She also led the organization’s Middle East and North Africa program, facilitating workshops and supporting local leaders’ implementation of advocacy plans to increase women’s influence in peace processes.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College and a Master’s degree from The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.
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