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Nov 18, 2013

Planned Giving is the Bridge Between Paradigms

Lynn and I were presenting at a fundraising conference last week. The conference was sponsored by the Browne Innovation Group. You may recall my blog a while back that discussed the emergence of the disruption fundraising model.

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Lynn and I presented about the importance of having a single message to communicate to donors. We showed a case study on how we leveraged our Mission Alignment Platform methodology to assist a nonprofit organization identify their single message.

But that’s not what this blog is about.

During one of the breaks between sessions I was talking to a development director of a traditional faith based organization – an organization whose average donor age was over 80. Now, most every donor file is aging, though most aren’t quite this old.

As always, I asked how their fundraising was going this year. Her response surprised me: “It’s going great, though 50% of our revenue is from planned gifts.”

Probably like you, a bunch of questions immediately came to my mind: Is that a good thing or a bad thing? What did they do to earn this kind of commitment from its donors? How long is that sustainable?

Most of us would not be comfortable with having this much revenue coming from unpredictable sources. However, every one of us would be very grateful for the advanced work others had done to secure these gifts that were now being actualized.

And as we continue to transition from mail dominated fundraising to digitally dominated fundraising, these planned gifts will act as a bridge.

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As we finish one year and head into the next, I thought it would be appropriate to recognize some of the key mentors I have had that have shaped my career. So, this 4-part series focuses on those who have helped me along. A big thank you to each and every one of them....

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