10 Philanthropic planning Interview Questions and Answers for financial planners

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1. Can you explain your qualifications and experience in financial planning?

My qualifications in financial planning include a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certificate. Additionally, I have 5 years of experience in the financial planning industry.

  1. At my previous job, I was able to increase client's investment returns by an average of 8% through strategic investment allocation.
  2. I also implemented budgeting strategies that resulted in a 15% decrease in spending for a client, allowing them to save more for retirement.
  3. One of my most significant accomplishments was assisting a family to increase their net worth by 25% by developing a comprehensive financial plan.

Furthermore, I have experience utilizing financial planning software and tools, such as Wealthfront and Personal Capital, to manage and track client portfolios. I am also knowledgeable in tax planning strategies and have provided clients with tax-saving solutions that have resulted in an average of $5,000 in annual tax savings.

  • During my time at my previous job, I was responsible for managing a portfolio of over $100 million.
  • I have also worked with clients of varied ages and financial backgrounds, from young professionals just starting to invest to retirees looking to make the most of their savings.

Overall, my qualifications and experience make me a competent and successful financial planner. I am dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial goals and am confident in my ability to do so.

2. What made you specialize in philanthropic planning?

I specialize in philanthropic planning because I am passionate about using my skills to make a positive impact on the world. In my previous role as a financial planner, I saw firsthand how wealth can do good when utilized wisely. I became interested in the idea of philanthropic planning after working with a client who wanted to establish a foundation to support education in underprivileged communities. During the planning process, I dove deep into research on effective philanthropic strategies and discovered the immense potential for impact that philanthropy can have when done correctly. Through my work with this client and subsequent clients who also wanted to give back, I developed a strong understanding of various giving vehicles, including donor-advised funds, charitable trusts, and private foundations. One project that I am particularly proud of is my work with a family foundation to establish a scholarship program for students from low-income backgrounds. We were able to structure the program in a way that not only provided financial assistance to these students but also offered mentorship and other resources to help them succeed academically and professionally. Overall, my passion for philanthropy and my expertise in financial planning have led me to specialize in philanthropic planning, and I am eager to continue using this skillset to make a positive impact on the world.

3. How do you approach creating a philanthropic plan for a client?

When creating a philanthropic plan for a client, I first aim to understand their individual values, goals, and motivations. To do this, I establish clear lines of communication with the client to gain an understanding of their unique passions and interests.

  1. I conduct extensive research to identify potential charities and nonprofit organizations that align with the client's values and goals.
  2. I evaluate the financial standing of each organization, including their financial statements and annual reports.
  3. I gather and analyze data on each organization's impact to determine whether their work aligns with the client's desired outcomes.
  4. I present the client with a curated list of potential organizations, highlighting the financial and impact data for each.
  5. I work with the client to establish clear giving goals and help them select specific organizations to support.
  6. I collaborate with legal and financial professionals to ensure that the client's donations are structured in the most effective and tax-efficient way possible.
  7. I regularly review and evaluate the effectiveness of the client's philanthropic plan, making adjustments as needed to ensure it aligns with their evolving values and goals.

My approach has yielded positive results in the past. For example, I once worked with a client who was passionate about supporting early childhood education initiatives. After conducting thorough research and presenting a list of potential organizations, we worked together to select three nonprofits to support. Over the course of three years, the client donated a significant amount of funds to these organizations, resulting in the establishment of multiple new preschool programs and the implementation of innovative teaching practices.

4. What types of charitable giving strategies do you typically recommend?

As a philanthropic planner, I typically recommend a combination of giving strategies tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of the client. Some of these strategies include:

  1. Donor-Advised Funds - This approach allows individuals to make an upfront donation to a fund and manage the distribution of grants to charities over time. In 2022, I helped a client set up a donor-advised fund which resulted in them being able to grant $50,000 to multiple charities within the first year of establishment.
  2. Charitable Gift Annuities - I often suggest this option for individuals who are seeking to supplement their retirement income while making a charitable contribution. In 2021, a client was able to receive a charitable deduction of $15,000 while receiving an annual annuity of $7,000 for life.
  3. Charitable Remainder Trusts - This is a great option for individuals who are interested in receiving income from an asset while ensuring that the remaining value is ultimately donated to charity. In 2023, I worked with a client to establish a trust which enabled them to generate an annual income of $15,000 while still earmarking $50,000 in assets for a charitable donation in the future.
  4. Strategic Gifting - For individuals looking to make a significant contribution to a specific charity, I recommend this option. I recently advised a client on donating appreciated securities worth $100,000 to a non-profit organization they support. As a result, they received a tax deduction and the charity was able to maximize the value of the donation because it was in a non-cash form.

Overall, my recommendations are always guided by the client’s vision and goals. By customizing a giving plan that matches personal values and objectives, individuals can make an effective and rewarding difference in their philanthropic journey.

5. How do you evaluate and select charities for your clients?

At my previous philanthropic planning firm, we had a thorough process for evaluating and selecting charities for our clients. First, we reviewed the charity's mission and values to ensure they aligned with our clients' philanthropic goals. Next, we analyzed the charity's financial statements to assess their financial stability and accountability.

  1. We used Charity Navigator to evaluate the efficiency of the charity's operations and determine their impact. In fact, we were able to increase our clients' donations, on average, by 20% per year by identifying highly rated charities on Charity Navigator.
  2. We also looked at the charity's transparency and communication with donors. We researched how the charity utilized the donations and conveyed impact to donors. One charity, in particular, stood out with a comprehensive annual report on their website that provided detailed information on their programs and financials.
  3. Finally, we surveyed our clients who had donated to the charity in the past to gather feedback on their experience with the charity. This provided valuable insight into the donor experience and satisfaction with the charity, which we used to inform our recommendation to our clients.

Overall, our process for evaluating and selecting charities for our clients led to increased donations, improved philanthropic impact, and increased donor satisfaction. For example, one of our clients was able to increase their total giving by 30% through our recommendations of highly rated charities and strategic giving opportunities.

6. What is your experience in setting up and managing donor-advised funds?

My experience in setting up and managing donor-advised funds stems from my time working at XYZ Non-Profit Organization. During my tenure there, I was responsible for overseeing the establishment of new donor-advised funds, as well as managing existing ones.

  1. I was able to increase the number of donor-advised funds by 50% within my first year.
  2. I worked with donors to create customized giving plans that aligned with their philanthropic goals and provided them with regular updates on the impact of their contributions.
  3. I also collaborated with our investment committee to ensure that each fund was being managed in accordance with its unique investment strategy, resulting in an average annual return of 8% for our portfolio.
  4. Furthermore, I implemented a streamlined process for fund administration that reduced the time and resources required to manage each fund, resulting in a 20% increase in administrative efficiency.

Overall, my experience in setting up and managing donor-advised funds has allowed me to develop a comprehensive understanding of the strategies and best practices needed to successfully manage these funds. I would bring this expertise to any organization looking to establish or enhance its donor-advised fund program.

7. Can you provide examples of successful philanthropic plans you have helped clients implement?

During my time as a Philanthropic Consultant, I have been able to help several clients implement successful philanthropic plans. One such client was a family foundation that wanted to address the issue of food insecurity in their community. After conducting needs assessments and analyzing local data, we created a multi-year grant-making strategy focused on supporting food banks and food rescue organizations. Over the course of three years, the foundation was able to allocate over $1.5 million in grants, resulting in a 25% increase in food donations to local pantries and shelters, and a 15% decrease in families experiencing hunger in the community.

Another client was a non-profit organization focused on environmental preservation. They were struggling to secure consistent funding for their programs and were uncertain of their long-term sustainability. After reviewing their financials and conducting stakeholder interviews, we developed a comprehensive fundraising plan that included major gifts, grant applications, and events. Within the first year of implementation, the organization was able to secure $500,000 from two major donors, resulting in expanded programming and significant growth in their donor base.

  1. In another instance, I worked with a philanthropic individual who wished to create a scholarship program for underserved students in their community. We designed a scholarship program which provided financial support, mentorship, and leadership training to low-income high school students. Over the course of five years, the program helped over 50 students successfully complete college and become leaders in their communities.

8. How do you integrate philanthropic goals into an overall financial plan?

One of the ways to integrate philanthropic goals into an overall financial plan is by developing a detailed giving plan that aligns with the client's values and long-term financial goals. This process involves identifying areas of interest and determining the level of involvement and financial commitment towards specific causes.

  1. The first step is to review the client's financial situation and assess the amount of funds available for charitable giving. This would involve analyzing income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.
  2. Next, we would work together to identify the charities and causes that resonate with the client's values and develop a strategic plan for giving.
  3. We would also explore various giving options, such as donor-advised funds, charitable trusts, and private foundations, to determine the most appropriate structure for achieving the client's philanthropic goals.
  4. Another approach would be to incorporate charitable giving into the overall estate plan, which can provide significant tax benefits while also leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.
  5. It is essential to regularly review and revise the giving plan to ensure that it continues to align with the client's values, financial goals, and evolving tax laws.

An example of successful integration of philanthropic goals into a financial plan is a client who wanted to support education in underserved communities. Through our detailed planning process, we identified a local nonprofit that was dedicated to providing educational opportunities for low-income families. We helped the client set up a donor-advised fund and made a significant contribution to the nonprofit. As a result, the client was able to support a cause close to their heart, while also receiving a significant tax deduction that was beneficial to their overall financial plan.

9. What is your experience working with estate planning attorneys and other advisors?

Throughout my career in philanthropy, I have had the privilege of partnering with various estate planning attorneys and other advisors to help clients achieve their philanthropic goals. For example:

  1. At my previous organization, I worked closely with an estate planning attorney to create a planned giving program that resulted in an increase in legacy gifts by 25% within two years.
  2. When collaborating with wealth advisors, I developed a strategy to engage their clients in charitable giving that led to a 30% increase in donations to our organization.
  3. I have also worked with financial planners to integrate charitable giving plans into their clients' overall financial plans resulting in $1 million in donations to our organization over a three-year period.

By building strong relationships with these advisors, I was able to provide more comprehensive philanthropic solutions to our donors and create a win-win situation for all parties involved. I understand that effective philanthropic planning requires collaboration with other professionals, and I am confident in my ability to work with estate planning attorneys and other advisors to maximize the impact of our clients' giving.

10. How do you stay up-to-date on changes in tax laws and regulations related to philanthropic planning?

Staying up-to-date on changes in tax laws and regulations related to philanthropic planning is crucial for any professional in this field. Personally, I make it a priority to stay informed by attending industry conferences and seminars related to philanthropic planning. For instance, I attended the 2022 Philanthropy Symposium, where I learned about the latest changes in tax laws related to planned giving.

In addition to attending conferences, I subscribe to newsletters and publications such as The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Nonprofit Times. These resources provide great insights and coverage of policy changes and updates in philanthropy and tax laws.

Furthermore, I participate in online forums and engage in discussions on social media platforms like LinkedIn with other professionals in the field. The forums and discussions give me a window to see what other professionals are doing to keep up to date with tax laws and reforms.

Finally, I work with a team of experienced professionals that includes attorneys and tax advisors, who I consult on complicated cases to ensure compliance with all the latest laws and regulations.

Overall, proactively keeping up-to-date on tax laws and regulations is a key part of my role as a Philanthropic Planning professional. My commitment to this ensures I am always aware of changes in law and able to execute my work with the highest level of accuracy and compliance.


Congratulations on learning about the 10 most common philanthropic planning interview questions and their answers in 2023. This is only the first step towards getting the job you want! Your next steps should include writing a captivating cover letter and preparing an impressive CV. Don't forget to check out our guide on writing a cover letter and writing a resume for financial planners to help you stand out among other applicants. The journey towards your dream job begins with Remote Rocketship, where you can browse through our jobs board dedicated to remote financial planner jobs at https://www.remoterocketship.com/jobs/financial-planning. Good luck on your job search!

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