Tag Archives: prospects

Skip Wealth Screening For Planned Giving

Torn window screen

photo credit: quinn.anya via photopin cc

I consistently preach this to clients and audiences: small-and mid-size nonprofits need not spend money on wealth screening to find potential Planned Giving donors. You have all the data you need in your fundraising or CRM database.

Query your data for age and giving consistency and you’ll find your best Planned Giving prospects.

If you don’t have age info, consistency alone will work if you’ve been around for many years. Lots of my clients go back many decades, sometimes into the late 1800’s. But 20th century roots will be fine for you to rely on giving consistency as a proxy for age.

If a donor has been giving for 30 years, for instance, they’re probably in the age range you’re after.

If you don’t have giving data going back far enough to extrapolate age, then before you pay for an age overlay from a screening service consider this. Can you survey your donors with a reply card in your next mailing? If you don’t want to ask for date of birth, ask for age. It’s worth considering before you make the plunge into age screening.

An important word about giving consistency. Ignore gift size.

I literally mean if a donor has given you just $5 a year, and they’ve done it for 18 years out of the past 20, or 25 years out of the past 30, then they are an outstanding prospect for a charitable bequest, which is a gift to you in their will. (I said a lot about starting your PG program with bequests in this series for GuideStar.)

The students at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Center for Excellence heard me say this just last week.

Age and giving consistency. That’s all you need to get started in Planned Giving.

Large shops will want to move beyond bequests, so they may wisely invest in wealth screening further down the road. But it’s not needed at the outset.

Small- and mid-size nonprofits can have very respectable PG programs that start and stop with gifts by will.

To launch any program–big or small–you can skip wealth screening.

Ask For What You Want

Bilie (Mac) McBain Dec 16 blog post

Two customer service reps recently reminded me of the value of straightforwardly asking for what you want. Asking politely, confidently and firmly, which is how fundraisers should solicit potential donors and prospects.

Billie (Mac) McBain at Best Buy in Aberdeen, NC asked me in all the right ways to fill out an online survey, rate the store a 10 and explain how he helped me buy the right charging cable for my wife’s MacBook Pro. I obliged, but only after sharing my impression with the store manager and Mac together. I also tweeted my admiration.

 


Just last week, Port Authority of NY & NJ customer service rep Mohammed Alam helped me save a buck when I bought an AirTrain ticket on my way home from JFK airport. As he explained the procedure, he wrote his name on a business card and handed it to me. OK, he didn’t explicitly ask for my help, but the implication was clear and confident. I happily dashed off an email to HQ. (Which sent back a lackluster form reply ignoring my enthusiasm. Boo!)

Port Authority Customer Care rep badge Dec 16 blog post

Both were terrific, fun, sure-footed solicitations that got me to give what was asked. Bravi, gentlemen, bravi!

Let’s bring this back to what I know something about. It’s painful when I see a weak fundraising solicitation.
— An email or letter where the ask is buried in the middle of the fifth paragraph
— One that never comes around to make an ask
— A solicitor who apologizes
— A solicitor who just isn’t comfortable asking for money, or other support
— I had a client where the executive director insisted his letter should “humbly ask”

Gutless solicitations demean your work and discourage support. They’re embarrassing for everyone and suggest you don’t believe in the cause.

You believe in the cause, right? Or else you wouldn’t be there.

Here are a few tips:
— Rehearse: many Nonprofit Radio guests have suggested this. You role play the solicitation meeting. Lots of pros use this.
— Prepare in advance: last minute preparation is inadequate; this is an important meeting!
— Not so many pages or screens: lots of notes suggest you don’t know your subject; that’s why you prepare.
— You host: when meetings are in your office, you control the flow and prevent interruptions.

For serious help with strong asks, check out Asking Matters. You can find your asking style (rainmaker; go-getter; mission controller; or kindred spirit), which will help you approach others, and show you how to support volunteer solicitors. (Follow president Brian Saber.)

When she was with Asking Matters, I had Andrea Kihlstedt on Nonprofit Radio. The link to listen to our convo is at the bottom of this post.

Ask for what you want with firmness and confidence. Ask from a position of strength.

Nonprofit Radio for June 21, 2013: Get Out and Positively Communicate & SECrets

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Listen live or archive:

Tony’s Guests:

Interviewing Sharyn Abbott at NextGen:Charity 2011
Sharyn Abbott: Get Out and Positively Communicate

Sharyn Abbott is the author of Mixing It Up! The Entrepreneur’s New Testament and her strategies apply to small- and mid-size nonprofits, too. At the NextGen:Charity conference in 2011 we talked about networking your nonprofit; recruiting and hiring motivated people; and positive communications. Sharyn reads my face to tell me what kind of communicator I am.

 

 

Maria Semple
Maria Semple: SECrets

Maria Semple is the author of Panning for Gold: Find Your Best Donor Prospects Now! and our prospect research contributor. This month she pans for research gold in SEC corporate filings.

 

 


Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.

You’re on the air and on target as I delve into the big issues facing your nonprofit—and your career.

If you have big dreams but an average budget, tune in to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.

I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.

When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Fridays, 1-2PM Eastern

Sign-up for show alerts!

Here is the link to the audio: 147: Get Out And Communicate Positively & SECrets. You can also subscribe on iTunes to get the podcast automatically.

Maria Semple

Nonprofit Radio for June 7, 2013: Maria’s FAQs

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Listen live or archive:

Tony’s Guest:

Maria Semple
Maria Semple: Maria’s FAQs

Maria Semple is The Prospect Finder and our monthly prospect research contributor. She does a lot of speaking and training and gets asked a lot of questions She’ll answer the most frequent, about researching individuals and foundations.

 

 
On Tony’s Take Two, guests from Australia! Sally West and Keith Wright share the Love Is campaign.


Top Trends. Sound Advice. Lively Conversation.

You’re on the air and on target as I delve into the big issues facing your nonprofit—and your career.

If you have big dreams but an average budget, tune in to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.

I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.

When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Fridays, 1-2PM Eastern

Sign-up for show alerts!

Here is the link to the audio: 145: Maria’s FAQs. You can also subscribe on iTunes to get the podcast automatically.