Advisors who help clients with their charitable giving must think not only of charities and potential tax benefits, but the effect of such largesse on the client's overall portfolio. The impact of making a few large gifts may be quite different than the outcome from making many smaller gifts. Here are some tips to help clients decide how many charities to support:

1. How important is the cause? "The more passionate a client is about it, the greater the possibility a client will want to concentrate their charitable capital to affect one cause," says Joel Redmond, senior financial planner at Key Private Bank, in Syracuse, N.Y. This is the first and most important decision to make about a client's charitable giving, since it will guide everything else. "If they are truly passionate about one cause, then there is no need to spread the wealth,” says Jennifer Landon, president of Journey Financial Services in Ammon, Idaho.

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