INTELLIGENCE FOR GROWTH: Advisors Can Use Tech To Offer Clients A Better Way To Practice Charitable Giving


The back-half of the year is when charitable giving should be front-of-mind, as each client’s financial picture, in real terms, comes into focus along with the opportunity to reap tax benefits through charitable contributions just in time for year-end.

While many advisors offer their clients valuable advice around charitable giving, they may not have had access to the technology or processes to fully integrate giving into holistic financial services, said Ryan Dolan, Director of Sales at TIFIN Wealth, which delivers AI-infused technology solutions to the wealth management industry. Among TIFIN Wealth’s solutions is TIFIN Give, a digital Donor Advised Fund (DAF) platform.

“The advisor is often on the sideline of the conversation when it comes to giving,” said Dolan. “They have access to tools like DAFs, but much of the technology is dated, the experience is not intuitive, and advisors can’t charge on the assets. There’s more we can do for people with technology around giving.”

Many of these problems are addressed by TIFIN Give an intelligent, digital Donor Advised Fund platform. “TIFIN Give is designed to empower advisors and their clients to sit at the center of the charitable giving conversation.”

Out With The Old

While Donor Advised Funds are the fastest growing philanthropic vehicle in the U.S., less than 50% of High Net Worth donors currently utilize a tax efficient vehicle.

Lags in technology may be partially responsible. Legacy technology surrounding DAFs has generally been oriented toward a single client or user, and focuses mostly on creating and funding the Donor Advised Fund. Advisors and clients were left to themselves to navigate through the giving journey.

“TIFIN Give was inspired by the fact that advisors needed tools to better support clients through the entire giving journey,” said Dolan.

A Better Way

TIFIN Give starts out with helping advisors work with their clients to establish a charitable mission statement to guide the giving decisions to come. The platform offers a library of content around developing a mission statement—identifying the causes the client cares about, why they want to give, and how they define success when it comes to giving.

TIFIN Give then accesses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help source giving opportunities, using a database of 1.5 million charities, providing advisors with a greater ability to source charitable giving opportunities for their clients.

“The advisor can make it easier for the client to find the charities they’re excited about,” said Dolan.

The platform then offers a digital process to create the donor-advised fund and fund it. The entire platform can be white-labeled by advisors.

TIFIN Give also makes DAFs accessible to a larger group of investors, with no minimums on contribution sizes.

Connecting Investments for Greater Impact

While many custodians offer digital Donor Advised Fund platforms and can at least offer some help in sourcing charitable opportunities, TIFIN Give further differentiates its platform through the ability to align granting with the underlying investment in the DAF.

For example, someone saving in a donor-advised fund to give to environmental charities can align allocations earmarked for giving to those charities within models that have a thematic tilt toward environmentally sound investing to amplify their impact.

Deeper Connections

TIFIN Give also introduces a new category of philanthropy by giving advisors and clients the ability to include members of multi-generational families in giving.

Clients may provide logins to each family member they want to include as participants in their giving. Those additional participants can navigate the giving experience in a similar manner to the client, and allocate different amounts of their giving fund to each family member to include them in the journey.

“We’re trying to bring broader engagement and build relationships through giving,” said Dolan. “Charitable giving is a great way advisors can start engaging with younger generations within a family.”

The Advisor Role in Giving

According to Dolan, industry research has found that advisors who use charitable giving planning to differentiate their services tend to grow faster than those who do not offer any sort of giving advice.

“It’s really valuable, because when a client is talking to friends or family about what they’re up to, it’s often more interesting to talk about charitable giving than the latest investment product or how their advisor is saving them on taxes,” said Dolan. “Giving naturally lends itself to conversations within a broader network of people, and helps generate referrals.”

In the end, it’s about guiding clients across key areas of their financial lives, added Dolan. “Leading the philanthropy conversation can really highlight how advisors provide holistic value across all the areas that matter most to clients.”