The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Stewardship done right–by the White House

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Yesterday’s Washington Post featured a wonderful cover story about the process and people behind the way the White House handles the flood of communication from the public to President Obama.  The end result is a daily selection of ten communications forwarded by staff to the President that provide his daily glimpse beyond what he calls “the presidential bubble.”

As you can imagine, the numbers are staggering:  50 staff, 25 interns and a rotation of 1,500 volunteers are needed to respond to 100,000 e-mails, 14,000 phone calls and 63,000 letters and faxes per week.

What’s the relevance to gift planning?  Alot.  Our donors are our constituents.  Is your organization disciplined about responding to inquiries?  In a timely manner?  With a warmly written letter or e-mail or a warm person on the other end of the phone who has been trained to talk with donors?  Do you categorize the responses so you can keep tabs on what’s on donor minds and create a feedback loop that informs future donor communication?  Does the management team regularly read a sampling of letters so they’re in touch with what your donors are thinking?

I realize the President has tremendous resources at his disposal but it’s all about making it a priority.  If you scale down the numbers to what might be needed for your organization, and you commit to delivering excellent service to your donors, you can do it, too.  And, if you can’t get all the way there, make a start.  It will pay dividends.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

March 31, 2010 at 11:34 pm

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