Tag Archives: fundraising coach

PARADIGM SHIFTS: Inspiring Philanthropic Awakenings Among the Already-Generous

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In 2006 Warren Buffet made his Philanthropic Pledge, the decision to leave 99% of his wealth to charity during his lifetime or at his death. Bill and Melinda Gates have made a similar commitment (95% to charity). Together with Buffet, the Gateses are challenging their billionaire friends to make “The Giving Pledge,” a commitment to give at least half of their total assets to charity. Instead of asking, “How much do we really need to give,” the question becomes, “How much do we really need to keep?” That subtle change in wording represents the most radical change in perceptions about wealth, inheritance, and legacy.
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Wealth and Hyper-Agency: Why Strategic Philanthropists Grow Frustrated and Bored with Organizations and Their Leaders

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Listening to these strategic philanthropists talk among themselves about social problems, I notice something quite remarkable. Individuals who have earned or inherited enormous wealth, perceive of and approach social problems in ways that are very different than most of the fundraisers who solicit them for funds. That gap of perception and approach constitutes the boredom and/or frustrations factor with organizations and the leaders. Continue reading

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The Case for Organization Sponsored Charitable Estate Planning: Top Ten Hesitations

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The long-term sustainability of non-profit organizations at their current levels is going to largely depend on their ability to secure gifts from donors’ accumulated net worth. Having engaged so many non-profit executives in conversations about organization-sponsored charitable estate planning services, here are their top ten hesitations. Continue reading

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Primary Donor Motivation: The Subtle Difference Between “Giving With” and “Giving Because”

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Donors are driven to give by a primary motivation and donation decisions almost always follow those same inclinations. A strategic donor may give with emotion and with some regularity (habitually), but they give primarily because of their strategic approach to life. There is a tendency to sort names by amount, frequency, and giving habits. What the computer cannot tell you is the subtle difference between how and why people give. Continue reading

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Essential Upgrades: Understanding Dynamic and Static Donor Relationships

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Static relationships are those that are consistent and unlikely to change. Dynamic relationship are those that are temporary or in a state of continual change. Upgrading and deepening donor relationships is crucial and not just a means of increasing contributions. A large percentage, perhaps the majority of your current donors, are either on the way up (upgrading their relationship with the organization) or on their way out. Continue reading

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MANAGING DEVELOPMENT: Getting the System Right

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My first development job was to deal with a stack of donor files no one else wanted. Setting out to replicate the systems of elite development programs I had reviewed in my dissertation, I plotted out my year on a twelve-foot piece of butcher paper and hung it in my office (which was a large closet). Following that plan with those files, I secured the largest single gift ($12.6 million) of my career and eventually moved into the office next to the president. Here are three ideas underlying that plan. Continue reading

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Planned Giving or Charitable Estate Planning: What’s the Difference?

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It has been many years since my first tenure as the Director of Planned Giving. The goal then (as it generally is today) was to go out, promote the organization, present planned gifting possibilities, and secure the gift. Since we assumed that long-time donors already believed in the organization, the challenge was to make the case for annuities, bequests, or various kinds of planned gifts. Today, I have a radically different perspective and approach. Continue reading

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