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Are you a technician or a facilitator?

The flow chart below makes me very uncomfortable. Here’s why:

Science and experience have led me to realize that a donor’s objective is usually, first and foremost, to find meaning in their life through giving and to feel good knowing their legacy gift will make an impact.

With that obvious truth in mind, the top row of yellow questions should be about first determining:

  • Why they care;
  • Who influenced their interest in the cause;
  • Whether or not they want to honor or commemorate that person;
  • Whether or not they have a specific program they want to fund so they can make impact;
  • And so on.

I don’t think questions like those should ever be absent from any fundraising action plan or flowchart.

It concerns greatly me that they are absent from this sheet.

Removing the humanity from the gift facilitation process reduces it to a cold, mechanical, transaction. Yet, all giving is based on emotion. I sincerely hope all gift planners recognize that and operate as facilitators of giving to help donors find meaning in their lives, not fundraisers operating to close gifts.

What do you think?

why transactional nature of planned giving is bad for fundraising

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13 Comments

  1. Laura Waller May 12, 2017 Reply

    AMEN!!!!!

  2. Tim Dockery May 12, 2017 Reply

    You took an excellent tool completely out of context, to serve your own purposes. You should take this post down, write a retraction, and send Jeff an apology note. This is cold-hearted marketing!
    Shame on you.

    Sincerely,
    Tim Dockery

    • Author
      Greg Warner May 12, 2017 Reply

      Thanks for your comment Tim. Could you please elaborate on why it is out of context?

      Please realize, I agree that it is a very helpful tool for fundraisers to use after (only after) you’ve learned why they care, who influenced their interest in the cause, whether or not they want to honor or commemorate that person, and whether or not they have a specific program they want to fund so they can make impact. Thanks for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate your perspective very much. Thank you!

      • Tim Dockery May 12, 2017 Reply

        The title of the flowchart says “Quick Reference for Professional Advisors.”
        It’s likely intended audience: Professional Advisors
        It’s likely intended purpose: to be a quick reference of the charitable gift types.

        The chart doesn’t discuss the donor passion question, which I believe is very important, but that’s not its stated purpose. Hence, all the criticisms you mentioned were out of context. You then jump to the illogical conclusion and imply that the author of a “quick reference guide for Professional Advisors” must be a “Cold-hearted Fundraiser.” You then shared that misguided conclusion with a ton of people via e-mail and Linked In.

  3. Stacie May 12, 2017 Reply

    This flow chart looks very helpful. Could you post it so that it is large enough to actually read?

    • Author
      Greg Warner May 12, 2017 Reply

      Hi Stacie- Sorry I don’t have a hi-resolution version. I agree that it is a very helpful tool for fundraisers to use after you’ve learned why they care, who influenced their interest in the cause, whether or not they want to honor or commemorate that person, and whether or not they have a specific program they want to fund so they can make impact. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Theresa May 12, 2017 Reply

    I agree with the comments above, this looks like an excellent tool to share with our gift officers who do not have a gift planning background. I would think it goes without saying the passion and usage questions have all been answered before we even get to this point – but I guess not. Thanks Greg for sharing this great tool! Stacie – here’s the PDF: http://www.sbtexasfoundation.com/images/CHARITABLE_GIFTING_FLOWCHART-03192017.pdf.

    • Author
      Greg Warner May 12, 2017 Reply

      Thanks so much Theresa. Yeah… I like the flow chart too! It is an excellent too.

      I too would hope the passion and usage questions get answered before the point of using it. But I’ve seen too many fundraisers (and too many planned giving newsletters or other marketing) focused on tactics first.

      I just think the top of the flow-chart should make sure to remind people to focus on the more human aspects of the transaction first before getting into the tactics.

      Thanks so much for linking to the PDF.

  5. This is so true! Giving is a matter of the heart, not a perfunctory act of the will. We need to respond in kind when donors embrace our cause. When the personal element is removed or becomes “technical,” the vital connection with someone who might have been a supporter for years but didn’t feel appreciated is also lost or broken.

    • Author
      Greg Warner May 19, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Camille. And thanks for engaging here on my blog. Your voice needs to be heard!

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