In Fraser Green’s book titled Iceberg Philanthropy he points out how planned giving fundraisers get tricked into thinking that what they see (the tip of the iceberg) is what truly exists.
Here’s what I mean:
1. Most organizations’ planned giving staff will not see (and/or cultivate relationships with) the entire group of people capable of making a legacy gift. That includes their entire database plus anyone else that might support their mission. Rather, most PG Officers are probably only seriously talking to way less than 300 people each year.
2. Those 300 people usually have special circumstances that require the PG Officers’ expertise. But everyone else does not. This is why so many gifts drop in unexpectedly. Face it, the vast majority of your planned gifts will come from people who never involved your organization’s staff in the decision-making process.
3. So, if most planned giving fundraisers only see the 300 that need help, then they are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. And that group is NOT analogous with the other 90% of your bequest donors.
If you want to attain more legacy gifts, stop living on the tip of the iceberg. Look for the commonalities in the 90% instead. Then find ways to satisfy their needs. That usually means you should market simple bequests, bequests, bequests.
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