The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Learning the art of asking for a planned gift: Part I

with one comment

Whenever I meet someone new and tell them that I’m a fundraiser, the immediate response is “Eeeuww, it must be the hardest thing in the world to ask people for money.”  “No,” I say, “it’s actually easy when you know how to do it and you view it as helping a donor fulfill his or her aspiration to make a difference instead of thinking of it separating a donor from his/her money.”

Even though I have my answer at hand, I’ll admit to you that asking for money is hard, if you haven’t been trained or you’ve been incorrectly trained in the art of asking.  Too often gift planners are trained in the technical aspects of gifts and aren’t taught to start with identifying donor financial needs and philanthropic interests.   We ask donors lots of questions but not the ones that elicit the information we need to be successful.

At a recent National Capital Gift Planning Council luncheon, John McKee, Senior Director of Gift Planning at the University of Maryland Foundation, spoke about how changing the focus of training for his gift officers to non-technical, relationship-building skills had transformed their results.  Much has been written on this topic, including a good article in the 4th Quarter 2008 Journal of Gift Planning, “How Old Are You and Did You Know You Could?” by Alexandra P. Brovey and Patricia L. Roenigle.  You can download a pdf of the article here (in two Parts to facilitate downloading): How Old Are You Part I and How Old Are You Part II.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

June 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm

One Response

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  1. Phyllis,

    Thank you for your consistent and usable insights! I don’t know how you can keep coming up with such fresh and pertinent stuff – but keep it coming!

    Many thanks,


    June 8, 2010 at 9:14 am

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