Planned Giving

Straight talk about major, mid-level and legacy gift fundraising to help you be a better fundraiser

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It’s NOT a dirty job but someone DOES have to do it.

Recently a friend of mine was promoted.  Now she is in a leader position at her organization’s headquarters.  Yippee! I asked her, “What will you… Read More


Why fundraisers who position themselves as a counselor and guiding sage for donors raise more money

Things look bleak. Fundraisers don’t stay. They don’t stay at the nonprofit. They don’t stay in the industry. They are stigmatized by outsiders. They are… Read More


Why your greatest enemy in major gifts fundraising is the status quo

This challenge had me angry for more than a week… “Pharmaceutical sales reps have 15 meetings per day. Why can’t you?” Many years ago, I… Read More


How to Lower the ‘Cost’ of Philanthropy So Your Supporters Donate Major Gifts of Assets

In fundraising, a gift results when motivation overcomes cost. Increasing motivation helps. So does lowering cost. These make the gift easier. But sometimes, these two processes conflict. Number problems… Read More


Why you should worry less about reducing overhead and more about delivering value

Fundraisers and donors are in a pickle. They have been unfairly subjected to a broken system for decades. It isn’t their fault, but it is… Read More


Why you should never get a job and go to work

I taught my kids to avoid using the words job, work and can’t. To me a job is what some people get so they can work to get money; and if they fail to find one, they might say it’s… Read More


Top 2 cringeworthy things some fundraisers say to major donor prospects (and what they might want to say instead)

1. “I’d like to meet you to update you / tell you what we do / tell you what we’ve been doing, etc.” I’ve had… Read More


Think your donors are stupid?

High-capacity donors aren’t altruistic. They want something from you just as much as you want something from them. At a high level, most simply want… Read More


Why your job is to get donors to talk to themselves

Your job is not to come up with words and images that will persuade or convince people to give. No! Instead, your job is to… Read More


Does fundraising training focus too much on the ask?

Often, I find that major gift (and legacy gift) fundraising education, training, and advice places too much emphasis on ‘the ask’. Yet, in many ways,… Read More


Donors give when THEY want to give, not when YOU want them to give

It ain’t about you. Unsuccessful fundraisers want donors to give on their timeline, not the donor’s. They think they can make the donor ‘move’ when they want them… Read More


3 questions every major donor asks themselves after they give

“What did they do with my money?” “Would my money yield more impact if I gave it to another organization?” “Do they make me feel good or… Read More


When it comes to "moves management," are you concerned too?

First, what are we really talking about when we say moves management? Wikipedia says, “moves are the actions an organization takes to bring in donors, establish relationships,… Read More


9 hard truths your fundraising operation needs to face in the post-pandemic era.

1. Competition is fierce and everywhere. Nonprofits don’t only compete with other nonprofits. They also compete with private sector businesses and Uncle Sam (the tax… Read More


3 tips for your fundraising career

1. Always add value. The best way to ensure that you have a job all the time is to make it a point to consistently… Read More


Imagine: One extra call each day.

I simply love inspirational quotes. Here’s one I recently came across from Thomas Edison. He once said, “The successful person has a habit of doing… Read More


Do you aim your messages at supporters or targets?

Unfortunately just about all of us are capable of conceiving of people as just functions rather than human beings. I think this realization was first… Read More


And another thing about donor-advised funds…

I know, I disagree with many others on this issue. But the value proposition offered to donors by donor-advised funds is fair and good. It… Read More


Why fundraisers shouldn’t be making friends with donors

A true story. I was talking to one of our customers two weeks ago. She had been working for an organization for almost two and a… Read More


Is shaming an effective fundraising strategy?

I was intrigued.  A few weeks ago one of my employees (Nicole) forwarded the following email to me from her beloved alma mater. It was… Read More


7 great old quotes about philanthropy

1. Abraham Lincoln famously said, “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad; and that’s my religion.” 2. Booker… Read More


Why Oprah Winfrey gives money to build schools in Africa (the 8 components of impactful giving)

You might have known that Oprah was a philanthropist; but did you know why? Most people think they know Oprah Winfrey, one of the richest self-made… Read More


Find your dream job with these 3 simple steps

If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there. Here’s how to start with the end in mind so you can be… Read More


You don't necessarily need more low-dollar donors

You don’t necessarily need more low-dollar donors. You need better ways to determine who has the capacity. You don’t necessarily need more low-dollar donors. You need… Read More


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