The Catholic Fundraiser

Treating Donors Like Family: 9 Tips To Build and Maintain Your Planned Giving Donor Relationships

Posted by Nancy Jeffers on 6/29/17 8:41 AM

I recently attended a gift planning conference in New York where I had the opportunity to be reminded of the impact Sharpe Group has had over its 54-year history.

The opening speaker at the conference has been a friend of ours for many years. When we greeted one another, he remarked that he’d recently been reminded of something he learned early in his career while attending a Sharpe Seminar. He said he had never forgotten the advice and it had always served him well.

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Topics: Planned Giving

Planned Giving and the Church: The Last Frontier?

Posted by Viken Mikaelian with John Foster on 7/20/16 10:37 AM

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the priest announces from the lectern, “it’s your favorite Sunday of the year... budget Sunday!” The parishioners sigh and settle in for what the priest knows is the mass many would have skipped if they had known budget talk was on the schedule.

“Please take a look at the insert in your bulletin,” he continues. “You’ll see that we didn’t meet our budget this year … again.” His audience knows where this is going: The church is struggling to accomplish its mission, but the congregation is not pulling its weight in terms of monetary contributions. The end of the fiscal year is certainly no holiday for churches, priests or congregations.

Do not ask, and you shall not receive

Clergy in the United States struggle to talk about money and fundraising. They’re even  more tongue-tied about endowments and planned giving. The United States may consider itself the most religious Western nation, yet its churches rank near the bottom of U.S. charities in soliciting and closing major and planned gifts. Instead, contributions take the form of small cash donations put in the collection plate.

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Topics: Planned Giving

Dos and Don’ts for the Planned Giving Fundraiser

Posted by John W. Jensen on 5/3/16 8:30 AM

Fundraising success is made up of many things. Once you have identified a donor who finds your mission compelling, you have someone you can cultivate for future gifts of all sorts — or someone you can alienate and potentially lose as a donor. The difference is often, to a large extent, within your control.

Most of the basics of general fundraising apply also to planned giving fundraising, but a greater attention to the donor lifecycle is required. And (sometimes more complicated) noncash gifts can be especially important. Because the basics are so critical to fundraising success, it is a good idea to periodically step back and examine the details of how you are interacting with your donors.

Don’t let concerns about your lack of technical expertise be an obstacle to having conversations about noncash gifts. 

In most cases, you will be talking to a donor about making a gift that is simple to understand, such as a bequest or a gift from what may remain in a retirement plan. For more complicated gifts, your role is to generally describe the possible benefits and to interest the person in discussing it with a colleague or advisor.

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Topics: Donor Development, Nonprofit Galas, Planned Giving

About The Catholic Fundraiser

In this weekly blog we share tips, tactics and case studies for professionals in the Catholic fundraising community. Learn how to advance your mission with articles on technology, donor engagement, nonprofit leadership, social media, and emerging trends.

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