The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

On being a donor advisor.

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Recently a client complained to me that his central planned giving office doesn’t help with closing gifts because they’re afraid to be seen as giving donors advice. Even with disclaimers to also consult with their own advisors.  He contends that donors need and want advice from trusted sources like the nonprofit they have supported for decades and the nonprofit’s representative, the gift planning officer they have come to know and trust.  By advise, he means things like helping a donor figure out which asset to use to fund a charitable gift annuity, as an example.

Opposition to providing advice flies in the face of the increasing tendency in the marketplace to build service, implementation and advisory components into the sale.  That’s according to Neil Rackham, interviewed in the TrustMatters blog.  Rackham introduced the notion of consultative selling in his book, SPIN Selling.  He says, “So instead of just buying a tangible stand-alone product, you are also buying advice and support.”

Trendwatching concurs.  In their latest trend briefing they refer to “Brand Butlers,” brands that have turned themselves into a service.  As Trendwatching puts it, “Jaded, time-poor, pragmatic consumers yearn for service and care . . “

This consultative approach doesn’t seem to me to be in conflict with PPP standards of ethical practice for gift planners.  So, what’s going on here?

Phyllis

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