The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Listening as a differentiator.

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You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” —Dale Carnegie

This quote is from a presentation by Tom Peters, author of “In Search of Excellence.”  Hard to believe his management textbook was written nearly 30 years ago.  During that time he has never stopped examining what makes people and organization’s excel.

Today, one of the things Peters is most focused on is listening, a characteristic critical for success in gift planning and in fundraising more generally.

According to Peters:

Listening is … the heart and soul of Engagement.

Listening is … the heart and soul of Kindness.

Listening is … the basis for true Partnership.

Listening is … a Developable Individual Skill.

Listening is … the key to making the Sale.

Listening is … the key to Keeping the Customer’s Business.

Listening is … the sine qua non of Renewal

Listening is … Source #1 of “Value-added.”

Listening is … Differentiator #1.

Listening is … Profitable.* (*The “R.O.I.” from listening is higher than from any other single activity.)

We know these things to be true from our work with donors.  The real connection with a donor happens when we listen.  The understanding of a donor’s intent happens when we listen.  A gift commitment or an increase in a gift commitment happens when we listen.  Do you and your organization have a culture around listening?

Download an edited selection of Peters’ slides on listening here.  Peters on Listening


P.S.  I’ll be speaking on planned giving marketing with Steve Froelich of the ASPCA and Glen Beasley of the Arbor Day Foundation at the DMA Nonprofit Federation conference in Washington next week.  Our session is January 28th, 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm at the Renaissance Washington Hotel.  Hope to see you there!


Written by Phyllis Freedman

January 19, 2010 at 11:28 pm

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