At a time when many advisors are cautiously stepping into the social media scene, Fidelity Charitable has launched a LinkedIn group called The Giving Strategies Network which aims to help planners coordinate philanthropic planning.

The initiative comes as donations to Fidelity Charitable that are associated with advisors have jumped nearly four-fold over the past four years and represent over half, nearly 55%, of the organization’s total contributions during that same time period.

“As more people turn to advisors for help in planning their charitable giving, our goal is to be the resource they turn to,” said Sarah Libbey, president of Fidelity Charitable.

Moreover, when making important decisions about their clients’ giving, financial planners often work with other advisors such as CPAs, tax or trust and estate attorneys. Having a LinkedIn group, Fidelity Charitable says, gives this range of advisors the opportunity to share educational content and points of view with colleagues nationwide.

“This cross-disciplinary network is a powerful resource and a great example of the multiple benefits social media can offer advisors – the opportunity to actively strengthen their knowledge base, make connections and build their own professional brands,” said Mike Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services.

Created on April 9, the group is invite only. Candidates must apply through the The Giving Strategies Network’s LinkedIn page. One hundred members have been approved thus far.

Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity, recently reported its strongest quarter in terms of donations since its inception in 1991. Donors recommended more than 92,000 grants totaling $323 million through March 31. Those numbers are up 6% and 10% respectively from the first quarter of last year.

“This is an exciting trend that points to the value advisors bring to the charitable planning discussion,” Libbey said.

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