Taking on the $10 Billion Philanthropy Challenge
A year ago, on the threshold of pandemic isolation, I was intrigued by Dan Sullivan and a Joe Polish podcast called 10x talk, Sullivan and Polish are two legendary business trainers helping entrepreneurs achieve exponential (that is, 10X) growth in their business and their lives.
My practice is progressing well. I don’t need to grow anything close to 10X at this stage of my career. It would require infrastructure, staff and other nasty things I didn’t want to immerse myself in. But I’ve always been fascinated by non-fake ways to achieve significant success in business and in life.
So, I began to think about how I could apply the 10X principle to my position. Can it work to plan giving? Can I make 10 times the amount that I have already helped to enhance my 30 plus year career? Why not, really.
$10 billion for philanthropy
When I shared my audacity Target with WealthManagement.com readers last year, I got a mostly encouraging response. but still, $10,000,000,000 When you write it numerically it is a very large number. Maybe I was biting off more than I could chew.
Temporarily, I shared thoughts with a few trusted colleagues about a new $10 billion philanthropy facility before ending my career—yes, $10 billion with “B.” No small task. But, again, if it were easy, it wouldn’t have been a challenge. Because I’m a lifelong entrepreneur and fan of the Chicago Bears (that is, a gourmet for puns), they know I don’t give up easily. Everyone was very excited about my audacious goal.
progress till date
So, on January. 1, 2021, I quietly took 10BC (ten billion for charity) In the back of my mind, a small voice whispered: “Who are you so courageous?” And shattered my resolve. But I found myself overcoming those initial doubts, thanks to a great support network. With their help, the idea of 10BC spread. all in an orderly fashion. Only the tongue Just telling me anyone who will listen: “Yeah, that’s what I do.”
Here we are, a year later, and I think we’re in the early stages of a movement. I became known as the “Charity Man,” which helped garner us some media attention and traction in the marketplace. I know that some consultants have made great “pledges” for our purpose. One has pledged to help raise $1 billion for the charity alone, and the other has pledged $4 billion for its efforts.
Over the past 12 months, I’ve personally impacted more than $200 million in new gifts, and I’m currently working with a potential $400 million donor. It is with nothing more than intention. A Whisper Campaign.
So, despite the enormous challenges of the pandemic and uncertain tax scenario in 2021, I provided as much comfort in the last 12 months as I did in the first 35 years of my career! Wonderful. I’ve always been skeptical of the word “success,” but now I’m starting to believe it.
I know what you’re thinking. The pandemic has drawn somewhat on philanthropy. The often-cited annual report published by Giving USA, Blackbaud and Fidelity points to a very modest annual increase in charitable donations during the pandemic – at a time when so many people, organizations and causes are in need of help. It’s definitely not an increase of 10X.
But my teammates and I play in very different sandboxes. When the paperwork is finalized and funds are released, it can take months, if not years, for our clients to put together a planned plan, it can have a very, very big impact on clients and They care about it.
This is where I want to focus my efforts. Every seven-, eight- or nine-digit gift we can facilitate will have a tremendous multiplier effect.
Much remains to be done. How do we keep the score accurate? What matters? Who cares? All these things will develop. What’s important right now is to go ahead and tell you about this mission. If you and your customers want to be part of the 10BC movement, you will find a way. Otherwise no big deal. Maybe my timing sucks. Maybe nobody cares. I aim. I have nothing to lose. If I fall short by some amount, I will still gain something. No shortage. And, if I hit the number quickly, I promise, I’ll raise the bar to some new, crazy goal—think $20 billion—and go for it.
As the late tennis icon Arthur Ashe once said, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the result.”
Thanks to everyone who came on board. The conversations are rich and deep. The breadth is visible. Well, just because customers aren’t directly asking you for help with their planned charity or legacy plan, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in doing so.
Financial advisors ask me all the time how they can learn more about charitable planning best practices. My answer: “Just start talking to prospects about your customers and their philanthropic intentions.” I also recommend talking to other advisors and asking them about their goals and dreams for philanthropic capital.”
The more conversations you have about philanthropy, the more comfortable you will be with the concept. Here’s the thing: We’re not asking customers to take money from their kids. We’re just trying to get advisors and clients to understand that there are smart, legal ways to divert money from taxes and dysfunctional government programs to charitable causes that we really care about.
Still don’t believe me? Year by Year, the US Trust’s Annual Survey of High Net Worth Families finds that a third of respondents (31%) will go to a new advisor if that new advisor voluntarily talks to them about philanthropy. Think about that number: 31%. This sounds like a huge opportunity to me.