2002 Study of the financial adviser's role in philanthropy. CPNS Working Paper 25

Madden, Kym M. (2002) 2002 Study of the financial adviser's role in philanthropy. CPNS Working Paper 25.


This paper presents the key findings from a study of Australian financial advisers' attitudes to philanthropic planning with high net worth clients, and the extent to which they engage in it. This is the first study of its kind in Australia and is based on a United States (U.S.) study by The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) in 2001.

The TPI study showed U.S. financial advisers were reluctant to ask clients about charitable giving, an attitude that is also reflected in the United Kingdom (The Giving Campaign, 2001, 2003, 2004). Despite this, U.S. advisers are increasingly interested in doing so, compared to earlier studies, and desire greater knowledge and skills in this area. While financial advisers in the United Kingdom (U.K.) are more cautious, they too desire better information and training about planned giving.

The growing willingness by U.S. advisers and, to a lesser extent, U.K. advisers to become more competent in charitable planning reflects new opportunities arising from the huge intergenerational wealth expected to be transferred in the next few decades, a trend that is also affecting Australia.

This study’s findings suggest that Australian financial advisers, like U.K. advisers, are not as active in asking their high net worth clients about philanthropy as their U.S. counterparts. Further, they perceived the use of charitable vehicles by clients as lower. On a positive note, given the growing opportunities for financial advisers to incorporate strategic philanthropy in their services, the majority of Australian advisers surveyed believed that clients could find satisfaction through philanthropic giving. They welcomed resources and support that would assist in guiding clients interested in tax effective giving. The materials identified as most likely to be helpful to them were identified as educational materials they could share with clients, a single volume of philanthropic options, case histories and, to a lesser extent, sample documents for private foundations and relevant ‘how to’ articles in professional journals.

An initial interpretation of the findings suggests that Australian financial planners have a low level of interest in planned giving. A closer inspection of the mix of results suggests a more complex story, with signs of emerging interest. For example, in response to a specific question, many advisers showed interest in joining a professional network that promoted philanthropic giving and resources on the condition that it was both confidential and non-commercial in nature. Thus this study’s results suggest latent, but not active, interest in philanthropic planning by Australian financial planners advising high net worth clients.

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ID Code: 7138
Item Type: Other
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: financial advisers, financial planners, philanthropy, Australia, high net worth
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Business and Management not elsewhere classified (150399)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 24 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 12:39

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