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Charity a growth business – Altruism can bind people to planners

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A rise in giving has made philanthropy a growth business for brokerage firms and investment banks, Reuters reported July 27.

Donations to charity rose nearly $16 billion to $190.2 billion in 1999, according to the AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy. Donors are more and more using financial firms to help them decide how to use their charitable dollars most effectively.

“We’ve seen them before, but much more so now,” Martin Jaffee, chief operating officer of DLJ Asset Management Group, told Reuters. “It comes up in almost everybody’s planning. People want to know about it.”

Financial firms who offer planned giving advice and services say it sets them apart from companies that are less focused on philanthropy.

Recently, a California couple asked several financial service firms to draw up management plans for their assets, said H. King McGlaughon, Jr., senior vice president and director of nonprofit and philanthropic financial services for Merrill Lynch & Co.

In the end, the couple gave their business to Merrill Lynch because the company had offered them ways to address their charity goals as part of their overall financial plan.

In the second half of a person’s life, altruism can bind them to a financial services firm as strongly as the desire to make money did in the first half, said Paul Schervish, director of Boston College’s Social Welfare Research Institute.

For full story, go to America Online.

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