Art and Science

Fundraising is a people business, but the art and science behind it are deep, important and often hotly debated among its most talented practitioners. If philanthropy is a mysterious but joyful human interaction, planned giving is its black magic. Even seasoned fundraisers find it complex.

If the annual fund is dating and major gifts is commitment, then planned giving is the “marriage” of the philanthropy world. The relationships that lead to legacy gifts are steeped in time, trust, and mutual commitment.

On this website we discuss the science of finding your best planned giving prospects and the art of moving from data-mining to relationships, and then we present the different types of gifts that prospects may be interested in depending upon their personality, financial situation, and level of ability and affinity for your organization.

Think of the data as a road map to make you efficient; the art as a way to enhance your career and your value to your mission; and the gifts as the endpoint of the trust relationship you have built.

As you research this website, keep these questions in mind:

  1. What differentiates my mission from others?
  2. What differentiates my prospects/donors from others?
  3. Do I make them feel special from first “touch” through gift stewardship?
  4. Is it about them and the organization, not about me?
  5. How can a planned gift enhance their lives?

This roadmap of questions will help you learn planned giving and, more importantly, keep your focus on the right things moving forward throughout your career.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

How to Make Successful Fundraising Asks
How to Make Successful Fundraising Asks

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