Philanthropy is alive and well, contends Bryan Clontz, who co-founded Charitable Solutions LLC, a planned-giving, risk-management consulting firm in Jacksonville, Fla. Here, he talks with contributor Michelle Lodge about how financial advisors can counsel clients on alternative ways of contributing to charities while retaining liquidity and saving big on taxes.

1. In this post-2008 climate, what's the best way advisors can help their clients make charitable donations? Financial advisors need to look at any of their client's long-term capital assets and see how they can be contributed to a charity. This is not a time for advisors to be lazy and consider only the most highly-appreciated stock. They have to look further across the balance sheet for other long-term, capital gain assets, like real estate, closely held stock, C shares, S shares, LLP shares, and LLC shares and other capital assets. Before the financial crisis, when people owned appreciated stock, it was the easiest thing to use for charitable donations. And now, even if clients own appreciated stock, it represents liquidity, which they want to hold onto. Many donors want to contribute illiquid assets and realize the same tax benefits, without impacting their liquidity.

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