The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Storytelling as engagement & stewardship.

with 2 comments

We all know it’s important to effectively tell both our organization’s story and legacy donor stories in order to motivate other donors to give.  But, there is another way of thinking about donor story-telling.  As donor engagement/stewardship.

Karen Gallardo of AARP, in her “Bequest Boot Camp” presentation at the PPP conference, spoke about giving donors the gift of capturing their stories.  Capturing a donor’s story enables the donor to communicate and document the significance of her life.  If written properly, it can serve as an autobiographical legacy or a type of ethical will that can be shared with family members.  And, of course, with the donor’s permission, you can share the story with other donors as a way of inspiring them to also leave a legacy.

Katherine Swank, in her presentation at the same conference on “What Women Want” referenced an online Story Bank maintained by Families USA.  The Families USA Story Bank is used to document grassroots examples of the problems Families USA is trying to solve.  But their approach can easily be adapted to an online donor story library.

Take a look at for an interesting example of a commercial, web-based vehicle for enabling individuals to post their autobiographical legacies.  I love the idea of making something like this available exclusively to Legacy Society members on your website.  Seems like a great way to engage Boomers.  And for older donors who may not feel comfortable doing it for themselves, you can do it for them (with them).

The bottom line is that collecting a donor’s story is a gift to the donor and to your organization.  Send me your ideas for how to collect donor stories and I’ll post them in a subsequent blog.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

January 25, 2010 at 11:31 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Phyliss,

    I’m not sure if I have shared with you a program that I have been running for about three years now entitled “Conversations with Bob”. It is a men’s only monthly gathering where I interview one of our men before a group of his peers. We have interviewed well over 30 men to date and over 150 have attended the sessions at one point or another (we average 25 – 30 per session).

    I use an outline that I review with each participant before hand. It covers their early life and parents, growing up, the War years, their education, their family, their career, and several questions to get more at their legacy. We audio each and I hope to compile them some day. We will be starting a similiar women’s only group this year.

    Think about how valuable of a social history this is for a fund raiser. The real value, however, comes in the exchange and fellowship among men who often have a hard time opening up and sharing. What a blessing!

    Bob Price

    January 26, 2010 at 9:20 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: