Are You Getting Your Fundraising Advice From Lawyers?

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

fundraising advice from lawyersHow in the world did this happen?
Why was it ever allowed?
Who first accepted this?
 
For some strange reason over several decades, too many planned giving marketing firms and too many nonprofit planned giving departments were filled with lawyers. And these lawyers were charged with developing, directing, and deploying marketing plans and initiatives.
 
Seems like they figured that lawyers are smart enough to do marketing because, after all, they are lawyers (smart!) and marketing is easy!
 
But that kind of thinking is precisely why so many nonprofits still woefully fail to uncover enough planned gift disclosures and fail to generate enough qualified planned giving leads.
 
MarketSmart says: If you have a legal problem, hire a lawyer. If you have a marketing problem, hire a marketer. Period!
 
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6 responses to “Are You Getting Your Fundraising Advice From Lawyers?”

  1. Jess Hutchins says:

    Hi Greg,
    I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you. I’m a lawyer AND a fundraising professional with 10 years of experience in marketing planned gifts. It is possible to be both, and often very valuable.

    • Greg Warner says:

      Thanks Jess. You are an exception to the rule.
      I hope you will consider and recognize that I’m NOT saying that ALL lawyers are bad at fundraising/marketing. I’m just saying that most lawyers are good at being lawyers and most marketers are good at being marketers. I think it’s rare to find a person that is truly good at both. But, somehow the nonprofit world decided that they should hire lawyers for marketing planned gifts – to generate leads and uncover undisclosed (hidden) gifts.
      If you are one of the few that can do both jobs, that’s outstanding! But you are a rare commodity.
      I’ve offered this before… I’d be willing to do a marketing campaign (for free) for any organization that wants to place my marketing to generate planned gifts (leads and disclosures) in direct competition with their lawyer’s marketing. The results won’t lie.
      I think it would be fun and I’ll eat my words if I lose.
      Any takers?

  2. Jess Hutchins says:

    Hi Greg,
    I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you. I’m a lawyer AND a fundraising professional with 10 years of experience in marketing planned gifts. It is possible to be both, and often very valuable.

    • Greg Warner says:

      Thanks Jess. You are an exception to the rule.
      I hope you will consider and recognize that I’m NOT saying that ALL lawyers are bad at fundraising/marketing. I’m just saying that most lawyers are good at being lawyers and most marketers are good at being marketers. I think it’s rare to find a person that is truly good at both. But, somehow the nonprofit world decided that they should hire lawyers for marketing planned gifts – to generate leads and uncover undisclosed (hidden) gifts.
      If you are one of the few that can do both jobs, that’s outstanding! But you are a rare commodity.
      I’ve offered this before… I’d be willing to do a marketing campaign (for free) for any organization that wants to place my marketing to generate planned gifts (leads and disclosures) in direct competition with their lawyer’s marketing. The results won’t lie.
      I think it would be fun and I’ll eat my words if I lose.
      Any takers?

  3. Tracy says:

    Greg, as both a lawyer and a fundraiser, I totally agree with you! I was a fundraiser before I was a lawyer, and despite 15 years mostly in planned giving, my marketing and relationship skills have been far more important that my legal skills.

  4. Tracy says:

    Greg, as both a lawyer and a fundraiser, I totally agree with you! I was a fundraiser before I was a lawyer, and despite 15 years mostly in planned giving, my marketing and relationship skills have been far more important that my legal skills.

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