The holiday season is the time of year that has everyone asking, “how can I help?” and “what can I do to give back?” For advisors looking to spread a little holiday cheer, getting started can be the most difficult part. Here are five ways advisors can do good this season:
- Instead of Client Cards or Gifts, Donate in Their Name – “For years now at the holidays my company has sent letters to all of our clients and prospects giving our take on the years’ market moves and ideas for next year,” said Jon L. Ten Haagen of Ten Haagen Financial Group in Huntington, N.Y. “We also add a sheet explaining that we rather than sending commercial cards give a generous donation to a specific charity and ask for their acceptance of it.
The annual response is tremendous. It makes us feel good and the clients and prospects do as well. Hopefully it will get them into the charitable giving mood, too.”
- Host a Donation Drive – “Our office serves as a drop off location for Toys for Tots,” said
Christopher C. Giambrone of New Hartford, N.Y. “We receive great community support and collect many unwrapped toys for less fortunate children.”
- Volunteer Your Time – Closing the office for a full or half day to help out your local community can be a great way to give back. “My office has volunteered for a day at our local Salvation Army each year to help out,” said Christopher J. Olsen of Lodi, Calif. “We have painted rooms, sorted clothes, done repair work and helped to feed people in need.”
Olsen said the volunteer day has grown to include others outside of his office, too.
“We are planning a work day again this year. We have clients, staff, family and friends who come and participate,” he said. “Each year the participants say how rewarding the project is and want to help out again.”
- Pro Bono Work – Like volunteering at your local charity of choice, pro bono work can be incredibly rewarding. Kathleen Kenealy from Boston said this is the perfect time of year to get involved with pro bono efforts near you.
“There are lots of organizations that focus on teaching financial literacy skills to students, for example. The FPA of Massachusetts has an amazing program in partnership with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute that provides pro bono coaching to cancer patients and their families and they are always in need of volunteers,” Kenealy said. “Given the number of natural disasters we are constantly hearing about in the news, providing pro bono financial advice to people who have lost their homes and belongings as a result of fires, floods, tornados or other disasters is a great way to put your professional skills to use and help someone that could really use it.”
- Start a Fundraiser for a Cause – Whether it is casual Fridays for a cause or sponsoring your co-worker’s efforts, fundraising can be a great way to help those in need. Greg Hammond of Hammond Iles Wealth Advisors said his firm adopted a local charity with his firm pledging dollar-for-dollar matches to the organization. Hammond took it one step further, running a half-marathon for the cause, getting sponsors and support along the way.
Hammond said, “Through our clients, friends and family I raised $14,569 for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. With the match from Hammond Iles the total amount supporting better healthcare for children will be $29,138!”
AdvisorNews Managing Editor Cassie Miller may be reached at cassie.miller@Adnewsfeedback.com. Cassie has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. Follow her on Twitter @ANCassieM.