Are we witnessing the twilight of Planned Giving as we know it? Perhaps. Joe’s new series of Podcasts featuring conversations with Brian Sagrestano of Gift Planning Development, LLC continues with a not-so morbid discussion that will change the way you see planned giving.
IN THIS PODCAST, they discuss the forces shaping the future of planned giving. From aging cohorts to changes in donor philosophy, this isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of a new age of planned giving. Learn how these changes can shape your current program and help you build a lasting PG agenda.
We kick-off a new series of Podcasts featuring Joe’s conversations with Brian Sagrestano of Gift Planning Development, LLC. Brian specializes in helping charities develop integrated, donor-centered philanthropic planning programs, either from the ground up or with existing programs.
In this series of discussions, Brian will touch on a wide-range of philanthropic topics, from the current state of Planned Giving to specific techniques. He will explain how you can invigorate or grow your current programs.
IN THIS DEBUT PODCAST, Joe sits down with Brian to discuss a Planned Giving tool he calls The Legacy Challenge. Simple, yet powerful, he describes how the challenge works and how it has been used to impact a diverse group of organizations.
In this wide-ranging talk, Brian points to current, real-world examples of how The Legacy Challenge is transforming clients, increasing the amounts and volume of planned gifts and shattering organizational expectations.
Fundraising is not begging. Fundraising is helping people achieve a goal. If we approach it from that vantage point, asking for money becomes less about the ask and more about the donor.
IN THIS PODCAST, Joe turns the tables and interviews Matt Hugg from ThinkNP.com about the ways fundraisers can approach that most difficult of tasks: how to ask for money. Joe and Matt touch on the many ways fundraisers can approach the ask with less trepidation in ways that establish clear benefits to your organization and its donors. Go ahead, ask away! You will make the connection and both the donor and the organization reap the rewards.
Let’s play a little guessing game.
What charity first comes to mind when you think of a model Planned Giving Program?
For many, it is Harvard University. If it is not at the top of your list, it certainly rates as one of the best Planned Giving Programs in the country. It should! At $36.4 BILLION, Harvard currently has the largest university endowment. You don’t get an endowment like that without a strong Planned Giving Program. One of the people who helped build that program is Charles Collier. Charles served Harvard for 25 years as its Senior Philanthropic Advisor.
One would assume, as we initially did, that someone like Collier, one of the main architects behind Harvard’s outrageously successful Planned Giving Program, has a law degree or a degree in tax accounting.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not say, “I have a plan!” Dr. King said, “I have a dream!” Remember that the next time you are speaking to a donor about Planned Giving. Your charity is their dream, their hope and the difference they want to make in the world.
The holidays are rapidly approaching. A time when we all revel in our feelings of thanksgiving, happy tidings and goodwill toward men. A moment to appreciate what we have and ensure that others have what they need. A season of charity.
It is, indeed, the most WONDERFUL time of the year!
I am not referring to the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am focusing on two days that will help all fundraisers elevate the collective consciousness of our communities: National Philanthropy Day, which this year falls on November 15th, followed on December 2nd by #GivingTuesday.
According to Association of Fundraising Professionals, National Philanthropy Day is “the day that thousands of people around the world come together to both 1) put that word into action and 2) recognize the change that word has brought to our communities. NPD is a celebration of philanthropy—giving, volunteering and charitable engagement—that highlights the accomplishments, large and small, that philanthropy—and all those involved in the philanthropic process—makes to our society and our world.”
#GivingTuesday is more organic. A grassroots movement that encourages“charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world to come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.”
It is a great time to reach out to your donors in a way that celebrates giving. These days put an appropriate sense of timeliness to it and give them a reason to take action now.
“However you’re mobilizing resources, if you’re doing it with lots of authenticity and a transformational mindset, not the kind of ‘old-school’ sales mindset where it’s just about the goals and the numbers then it should be invigorating, exciting and you should be growing as a human being as well.”
This is the center of Jennifer McCrea’s vision. It will not only enrich your work connections, but the communities in which you live. McCrea is a Senior Research Fellow at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University, speaker and educator. She is a pioneer in encouraging Boards, non-profit leaders and philanthropists towards “thinking more creatively and collaboratively about ways in which to align strategic direction and resources to address some of the most profound needs on the planet.”
Joe recently had the privilege of sitting down with McCrea, author of The Generosity Network, to discuss her work, focusing on telling your personal story. This concept of the Story of Self, Us and Now, pioneered by McCrea’s Harvard colleague and path-breaking social organizer Marshall Ganz, tells us that cultivating a public narrative allows for not only personal growth, but community-wide change as well.
Joe spoke to McCrea about her beginnings as a young fundraiser. She explains how we can remove the obstacles that prevent us from achieving real connection. How we can break free of the “transactional” mindset into one that is more “transformational,” and how this “transformational” approach informs, and enriches, the generosity network.
While studying for my CAP certification at The American College, I learned about the concepts of “Above the Line” and “Below the Line.”
In their book, “The Right Side of the Table,” Scott and Todd Fithian were the first to apply this basic business tenant to fundraising. They suggest fundraisers draw a metaphorical line on a sheet of paper to differentiate between the types of conversations we have with our donors. Their simple, yet not widely practiced method, is how I now coach fundraisers to approach donor conversations. When practiced correctly, these conversations lead not only to larger gifts but significantly richer donor connections.
This concept completely changed my view on how we should handle our prospects.
Are you so busy facing all of today’s work demands that all you can do some days is stick your hand out and “collect?” You might be in trouble.
As many who travel the nation’s roadways know, the folks that collect tolls are quickly vanishing, being replaced by these:
So again, be honest and ask yourself this simple question: “Am I a toll collector?
“Don’t use my name, just be thankful you have my gift.”
How many times have you heard that from a longtime donor? Many are happy to give, but would prefer to remain out of the limelight. That reticence will hinder your efforts to secure future gifts from other potential donors.
One of the best ways to promote your Planned and Major Giving Programs is to let established donors articulate their reasons for donating. DONOR TESTIMONIALS speak to potential givers in a way you or your staff do not.
Getting private donors to open up and provide testimonials is not always easy. Some are shy, others private and many simply aren’t approached in a way that makes them eager to talk. In my experience, most donors WILL ultimately lend a hand. But you need to galvanize their support in the right way.