4 Quick Tips from Planned Giving Days

As always, the Impact Team learned a lot at Planned Giving Days last week. We wanted to share a few of our top takeaways for anyone helping their donors make an impact through planned gifts:

  1. We all know that Baby Boomers have changed the world in a number of ways. But David Huffine and Drew Nelson from St. Joseph’s Villa gave some clear advice to follow when branding your planned giving program for Boomers: DROP THE FORMALITY. Boomers don’t care for those stodgy words like “perpetuity” “legacy” “heritage.” They use action-oriented terms like “Connect your life to future generations” or “Your values can live on.” And when naming your planned giving society, look towards the future instead of the past…so no more Legacy, Heritage or Founders Societies!
  2. Laura Gobbi from the Smithsonian did a session on donor stewardship, an incredibly relevant topic for their organization that has recently completed a capital campaign raising $1.8 billion.  She said to create great donor experiences, ask yourself, “What makes me proud to work at this organization? What are the moments when I have felt most proud?” According to Gobbi, those are the stewardship moments you want to recreate for your donors.
  3. Beth Herman of EBH Consulting, LLC did a wonderful session on how coaching is different than advising or mentoring for advancement leaders. And with between 30-50,000 thoughts a day, we are always looking for what’s missing or wrong. She suggested in coaching moments to encourage us to reframe…What am I doing right? What small step will you take next? What haven’t we thought about?  She shared we only take 25% of the advice we receive. So rather than telling with lots of repeating or using questions as hammers, practicing presence will lead to less frustration. After all, we pick up the energy around us and mirror these neurons — and “all beings want to synchronize with energy in a state of peace.”
  4. Nicole Engdahl’s presentation on “Starting a Planned Giving Program: Where to begin?” was informative and tactical — and energetic! Impact has always know that your best planned giving prospects are your loyal, sometimes lower dollar donors. Nicole reported that at the National Park Foundation the majority of their planned giving donors give less than $10,000 in outright gifts over their lifetime. Your planned giving donors are not your major gift donors!

What planned giving tips do you have to share?

Photo credit: Pete O’Shea. Used under a Creative Commons (CC-BY-2.0) license.

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