Entrepreneurs are a philanthropic lot — 90% of them donate to charity every year, both personally and through their companies, according to a survey by Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.

And 61% of entrepreneurs say that just being their own boss makes them more likely to give; a similar share believes the very act of giving makes their companies stronger in the long run.

"Advisers are really going to benefit from incorporating philanthropy into their discussions with entrepreneurs," said Amy Danforth, a senior vice president at Fidelity Investments' charitable gift portfolio, which released the survey Nov. 12.

"Because entrepreneurs are inclined to give," she said, "incorporating philanthropy into their plans early on is very important."

Charitable gifts can prove useful building blocks in business owners' tax strategies — instead of cash, entrepreneurs can donate privately held stock, or, if they take their companies public, they can donate those securities directly to charity rather than cashing them out first.

Though charitable giving means losing client assets under management, Danforth said, advisers who help business owners donate are more likely to end up handling these clients' heirs' accounts.

However, the survey said, only 25% of entrepreneurs said that their financial advisers or other intermediaries helped them incorporate charitable giving into their financial plans.

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