Here’s why when it comes to planned gifts, it isn’t necessarily ALL about the relationship
I have two questions that I ask people when they say that planned gift fundraising “is all about the relationship.”
I ask, “How many gifts did you/your organization receive last year that ‘came over the transom’? I also ask, “How many were not previously disclosed to you before you got the money or the call from the attorney?”
The answer is always something like, “70%, 80% or 90%.”
After that, my reply usually packs a bit of a punch.
I ask, “So if it’s ‘all about the relationship,’ how come you and your organization didn’t know about so many gifts?”
I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s just that I don’t believe you can say that planned gift fundraising is ‘all about the relationship’ while, at the same time, have no idea about the vast proportion of gifts that have been planned for your nonprofit. Those two things don’t add up.
So what’s the point of this post?
- I think we need to stop kidding ourselves and giving ourselves too much credit.
- Yet, I think we need to recognize that a solid relationship with a supporter, advocate or member will definitely affect their legacy planning decisions. In that regard, solid, personal, 1-to-1 relationships are essential.
- But, finally, we need to embrace the fact that the relationship is usually first and foremost with the organization and its mission (at least 70%, 80% or 90% of the time), not necessarily the fundraiser. By doing so, and by using technologies and strategies that enhance that relationship, you’ll generate more planned gifts to support your cause.