Tag Archives: fundraising executive

ESTATE PLANNING FOLLIES: Disappointing Results of Setting Up Family Foundations to Teach Children Philanthropy

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I talk with hundreds of families each year about generous giving and wise estate planning. I can’t tell you how many times affluent parents or grandparents have said to me, “We want to set up a family foundation.” Notwithstanding the worthy causes listed in the conversation that follows, the underlying donor intent often emerges with words something like this: “We just want to teach our children about generosity and provide a means for them to be involved in giving.” Unfortunately, it very rarely works out as parents or grandparents anticipate. Continue reading

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PHILANTHROPIC AWAKENINGS: Mentoring Donors in the Art of Philanthropy

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It thrills and amazes me to witness individuals go through transformations with regard to their giving. Those transformations don’t happen that often, or that easily. Some might say (paraphrasing the Gospel of Mark), “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a terminal materialist to become a generous giver.” But it does happen, and more often than you might think. Jesus’ commentary on the rich young ruler concluded with the words, “Yet, with God all things are possible.” Continue reading

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Defining Success: The Starting Point in Charitable Estate Planning

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One of the most rewarding projects with which I have been involved had a surprise ending. The donors were absolutely thrilled at what they had done, primarily because they understood it and secondly because every element of the plan was linked to a deeply held belief and desire. We could have stopped there and called it a great win. However, in that last meeting the donors wanted to go a step further. They arranged for their children to join us so that they could understand how mom and dad were planning to give away $3.6 million dollars. Continue reading

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Understanding and Upgrading Habitual Donors

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Three fourths of all donors give by habit, some with the rhythm and regularity of piano teacher’s metronome. Tick, tock, tick, tock — same time, same amount, same method, same organizations. The fact that some donors are highly mechanized in their giving doesn’t necessarily mean that they are unwilling to give more or more frequently. It does, however, mean that you need to figure out how their giving systems works and how to work within them. Continue reading

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