As a Financial Advisor, your clients see you as the go-to guy (or gal) for just about everything that has to do with money. As perfectly proactive as you are, there’s one area of financial management that many advisors don’t dig into deeply enough with their clients: philanthropy. For whatever reason, it’s simply not a topic that’s bridged very often unless you’re managing portfolios for exceedingly wealthy clients with private foundations and/or charitable trusts. However, truth be told, a healthy discussion on philanthropy could be a powerful differentiator that sets you apart from your competition.
Take one good look at your client’s 1040 and you may be surprised at what you find. A $500 donation to their church to support the new solar panel installation campaign. Ten boxes of Girl Scout cookies that were sent to troops overseas. 4 bags of clothes little Johnny outgrew that were dropped off to the Salvation Army. Yes, even the clients with the most modest portfolios share their wealth. Sometimes far more so than the mega-wealthy.
One way to really serve your clients at a high level is to introduce them to tools that can simplify their lives. Knowing almost everyone makes a charitable contribution of some kind at some point during the year, one tool you might want to introduce your clients to is called iDonatedIt.
This genius mobile app allows your clients to clear their clutter, help the less fortunate AND claim their tax write-off without fail, every time. And as a Financial Advisor, your clients are looking to both you and their CPA to share financial insights from which they can benefit.
Here’s how iDonatedIt works:
- Create a donation event and give it a name (like “ Goodwill”).
- Add a new item by selecting from a pre-populated list.
- Choose the best option to describe the item’s condition.
That’s it! It takes less than a minute and they can do it from their phone, in the car while they’re still in the donation drop off line! Boom. Done.
But wait, there’s more…
If they wish, they can also add a picture of the item(s) they donate so they can go back later and see exactly what they donated and when. The app will generate an estimate of the item’s worth and keep track of everything for them! When they’ve added all the items for that donation event, they’ll be able to see the total donation value. Then, at the end of the year, they can look back and see a grand total of all of their donations for that year and give you the magic number in a snap. It has never been easier to claim the tax benefits from donations than it is now! And get this: this awesome app is available for just $2.99 from the iTunes store.
What? You’re clients love Android and hate the iPhone? No worries.
Tell them to check out Donation Assistant from the Google Play Store. The basics are the same. Just a heads-up: This app is not quite as simple to use as iDonatedIt. It’s missing the “event” feature so they’ll have to either enter bulk donations as a miscellaneous bag or enter each individual item as a separate donation–which results in making their list of donations much longer. But where there’s a downside, there’s always an upside too, and in this case they can easily track cash donations with this app, as well. Plus it’s free! Win, win!
There are a ton of different apps and programs out there that can help you serve your clients at a higher level. This month we’ve scratched the surface of four of them, but we’re sure there are some you use that didn’t make our list. Please tell us about your favorites in the comments. We’re always eager to learn about new, must-have tools!