Jan 23, 2014

It Is More Blessed To Give Than To Receive – and other beliefs you and your financial advisor should share.

Five years ago a family called our office out of the blue. They wanted to find an advisor to help manage their money but they also wanted to give money to support a cause they cared about deeply. The advisor that they had been working with thought they were crazy to give such a large sum away and the family wanted an advisor who shared their vision and could help them to think through all the options. I was in a bit over my head but worked diligently to help this family find a way to donate assets that were hard to give. In the end the family was thrilled and the ministry that they supported has been able to use that money to make a tremendous impact.

It was a blessing to the family and to the ministry, but I feel like I was blessed the most.  This event helped to shape my life.  Through the process our relationship went deeper than I could have imagined.  I wanted to do more of this type of work.  I pursued education in the area and reached out to others who were helping folks to plan for their giving.  It has been such a blessing to walk alongside clients in these generosity conversations.  I have come alive in my career through these conversations with clients.
Giving assets away is so contradictory to the financial industry today, but it is so close to the heart of God.
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

Acts 20:35   

I think you’ll enjoy this story:


I love the story Alan Barnhart shares.  He talks about the hassle of trying to transfer his business and to give.  He shares the challenge he had with many lawyers and legal advisors that weren’t able to help him give away his company.  He also describes how fulfilling it was to work with the team that finally came together to make his giving a reality.
Through these conversations with clients two organizations have risen to the top in helping with the technical details of planning for philanthropy.  The folks at Waterstone in Colorado Springs and those at The National Christian Foundation have been excellent in helping clients to give more and to give more effectively than they ever thought possible.
These organizations are not fund raising for their own cause.  Their mission is to free up assets to do Kingdom work.  That means they free up resources to support your church, or your favorite mission.

As advisors work with these organizations, clients are better served and get to see their assets put to use for Eternity.  As ministries come alongside these organizations, they see donors more involved and giving more effectively to support the causes they care about.  As families engage their financial planner and dream about how to steward their assets, they find freedom from financial stress and joy in generosity that spreads to their peers and to their children.

The Challenge:
To Families – Read the article by the National Christian Foundation entitled "Choosing the right advisor for your giving."  You can hear the struggle that Alan Barnhart had until he engaged the right team of advisors.  What a difference it can make.
To Advisors – If you haven’t asked your clients about where they give or what organizations and causes they care about, you may be missing out on deep and fulfilling relationships.  Go deeper with clients and engage in conversations about generosity.  Your local National Christian Foundation office or the folks at Waterstone can help you to get started.
To Ministry Leaders – Reach out to your local National Christian Foundation office or to Waterstone to dream with them about how they are helping ministries to serve donors better.  
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