Hearts or Minds?

Last week was Planned Giving Days, hosted by the National Capitol Gift Planning Council, and, as usual, it was an excellent opportunity to learn from a wonderful group of speakers and attendees. One presentation prompted an animated follow-up conversation.  “From Suspect to Prospect to Closing the Deal.” The speaker described her organization’s process of lead […]

Hearts or Minds?

by pfreedman on June 4, 2014 · 6 comments

Last week was Planned Giving Days, hosted by the National Capitol Gift Planning Council, and, as usual, it was an excellent opportunity to learn from a wonderful group of speakers and attendees. One presentation prompted an animated follow-up conversation.  “From Suspect to Prospect to Closing the Deal.” The speaker described her organization’s process of lead qualification.  I applaud the organization for phone follow up and for a formal lead conversation process—a step that’s missing in many organizations. What got tongues wagging, including mine, was the directness and rapidity with which the organization moves prospects through the consideration process.

After initial qualification, they provide relevant estate planning information.  They follow up with up to three phone calls, spaced over a period of time (up to 6-9 months), depending on whether the donor says he/she needs more consideration time.  In each phone call the ask is made very directly. If there is no gift commitment by the third call, that prospect is removed from the caller’s portfolio.

Unfortunately, there was not sufficient time to ask questions.  But some of us in the audience expressed surprise at the directness of the asks and by the speed with which a prospect is counted out.  What I would want to know is:

  1. How much qualification took place initially?  Was the passion of the donor for the cause truly assessed?  There was no mention of this kind of conversation as part of the process.  Instead, it sounded like the conversation was very transactional.

  2. Do people get a follow up call a year or even 18 months later or a special lead conversion track through the mail/email?  Some folks need a longer time or the occurrence of a life event to take action.

  3. What about the people who don’t want to disclose.  Maybe some of the “no” answers they’re getting are simply folks who don’t want to commit publicly—now or, perhaps, ever? Is there a category for them so that they can be stewarded appropriately?

  4. What happens to these prospects after they’re eliminated from a portfolio?  Are they put into an “inquirers” segment for subsequent marketing and stewardship?  I find that over time inquirers are the best prospects for subsequent gift closing.

What’s your take on this?  I’d be very interested to hear.

Phyllis

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Important New Resource Available

by pfreedman on May 9, 2014

As readers of this blog know, I’m passionate about having good data–for segmentation, for personalization and for reporting.  Score! Data-Driven Success for Your Advancement Team by Kevin MacDonell and Peter Wylie, is a terrific new resource for all fundraising staff, including planned giving professionals. The book is full of valuable case studies, including  “Planned Giving: Increasing the Chances of Success by Looking Beyond Donor Loyalty.”  The book is available from CASE here.

Regards, Phyllis

 

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Which Test Won?

May 7, 2014

Here’s an interesting result from Which Test Won about a web page test by the Belgian Yellow Pages.  Yes, the Belgian Yellow Pages.  They tested the use of icons for web navigation (top image, below) against links (bottom image, below). Can you guess which one increased clicks on categories by 90.2%? It was icons.  Now, […]

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To List or Not to List

April 1, 2014

Annual reports are one of the few places we recognize legacy society members.  The question of whether to include deceased legacy society members often comes up. Brian Sagrestano makes an excellent point is his book, The Philanthropic Planning Companion, co-authored with Robert Wahlers.  “We discovered that several of our older generational cohorts, particularly the World […]

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The Curse of Frequency

March 25, 2014

I’m often asked whether, given limited resources, planned giving marketers should send marketing pieces to as many supporters as possible but fewer times a year or whether we should mail to fewer people more often. The brilliant marketer Seth Godin recently blogged on the topic.  Godin says that it’s proven that frequency works, saying “If […]

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Divorce & Marriage

March 18, 2014

Did you know that the divorce rate among those 50+ has doubled in the last 20 years?  What’s that got to do with planned giving?  Roger Craver and Tom Belford, who pen the leading fundraising blog, The Agitator, recently posted on this topic. They remind us of the critical need to keep our donor data […]

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The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

March 13, 2014

That’s how my friends at Mal Warwick | Donordigital described the results of their secret shopper analysis after donating online to 16 different nonprofit organizations. Their report, which you can download here, has important insights for planned giving: Make sure you migrate donors between channels.  If someone interacts with you first online, make sure you also […]

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Show Me the Money

March 11, 2014

Willie Sutton famously said he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”  Here’s one place where the money is that we don’t highlight nearly enough:  The opportunity to name our organization as the successor/beneficiary of a donor advised fund. Monies residing in a DAF must eventually go to a charitable beneficiary.  It cannot go […]

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Girl Scout Cookies

March 5, 2014

Today there was a great post by the remarkable Seth Godin that’s a perfect follow up to my post yesterday about asking.  It will take you five minutes to read. Phyllis Share this: Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin Tweet about it Tell a friend

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3 Reasons to Ask

March 4, 2014

Asking can be daunting.  If you approach the prospect of asking with fear of rejection, embarrassment or a bruised-ego then these three reasons for asking—each based on a scientific study—are for you. Reason #1: People are more likely to say ‘yes’ than you think. Numerous studies looking at many different requests; from soliciting charitable donations […]

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