Gift planners at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning loved Justin Miller’s session, “Philanthropic Planning Paralysis: Getting Donors to Act.” Justin is wealth strategist at BNY Mellon and an adjunct faculty member at Golden Gate College of Law. He is a frequent speaker on tax, estate planning and family governance topics at professional education conferences throughout the country, and he spoke at NCPP for the first time this year.
Here’s a hint of Justin’s good advice...
Advisors and donors do not always have the same perspectives when it comes to discussions of philanthropic planning strategies. Advisors typically think that as their advice becomes more and more complex, their solutions become more and more brilliant and the tax savings and other advantages increase. On the other hand, donors may think that as their advisor’s advice becomes more and more complex, the cost of those solutions go up and the hassle and aggravation caused by those solutions also goes up. Unfortunately, for both advisors and donors, both perceptions may be correct.
Given all the issues preventing an interested donor from taking action, a good advisor should use this Three Step Process to increase the likelihood that a donor will implement a philanthropic plan.
- Investigate—practice using the ‘explicit needs question’ to get donors to state what they really need – as opposed to the advisor telling the donor what they need.
- Communicate—using stories and visuals, show and tell what happened to donors who did and didn’t follow through with their plans.
- Motivate the donor to take action—quantify the cost of procrastination; consider the consequences of eventualities like divorce, disability or incapacity, and offer the benefits of family philanthropy. Collaborate with other members of the advising team to make sure everyone is reinforcing the message.
National Wealth Strategist-BNY Mellon
As a national wealth strategist at BNY Mellon, Justin Miller works collaboratively with other advisors to provide comprehensive wealth and philanthropic planning advice to clients and their families. He also is an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, an executive committee member of the State Bar of California Taxation Section, and the editor-in-chief of the California Tax Lawyer.
Read more about the three steps in Justin’s full conference paper, below.