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Philanthropists Are Pre-Qualified HNW Prospects

March 30, 2017

Successful advisors always want successful people as clients. Finding wealthy professions and cultivating people in those fields is one approach. The downside is discovering barriers have been erected because they are everyone else’s favorite prospect. Time for another approach.

An alternate way of determining a person’s relative wealth is by examining the amount of money they donate to charity. The National Center for Charitable Statistics reports people with adjusted gross incomes of $10,000,000+ donated 5.9% of their income in 2014. This is followed by the $5 million to $10 million dollar earners donating 3.7%.

The logic is simple. If a main criteria is finding people with substantial assets, philanthropists have money to give away. They are pre-qualified. Guidestar.org is likely a resource you have been using to help identify foundations in your area.

Here’s another approach. Non-profit organizations publish annual reports that look remarkably similar to publications provided by public companies. Often called “Records of Philanthropy” or “Report to the Community,” they usually include lists of donors organized in tiers based on size of contributions. Most headings include the line “anonymous” but the rest are the names of individuals, corporations and foundations.

As a member of a museum or other large non-profit, you already receive your copy in the mail. Most organizations have a website. Entering “annual report” in the search field should deliver a PDF of the document you can review. Read it thoroughly. Look for privacy details.

Today’s philanthropists want to see their money being spent. They are often involved in the causes they support, showing up at events and mingling with other donors. You have the chance to shake their hand and thank them for their support.

LinkedIn has over 467 million members. It’s extremely likely these philanthropists are members. Armed with a list of names you can determine who in your social circle knows some of them. You might be quite surprised. Having a shared contact provides an introduction opportunity or a friend in common to mention when you meet them at a reception.

If you share your wealth through charitable giving, you already have an interest in common.