Thursday, June 7, 2007

Three Ways Fundraisers can Dramatically Increase Gifts from their Best Donors, While Making the Donor Delighted

Lest I simply turn my blog into a giant arrow pointing at Phil Cubeta's blog, I will paste my comments about today's article below the link:

Gift Hub: Inspired Legacy Partnerships - Three Ways Fundraisers can Dramatically Increase Gifts from their Best Donors, While Making the Donor Delighted

I believe that this idea is noble and timely, and my hope is that the current trend for "giving now" moves beyond the famously wealthy (Warren Buffett, Boone Pickens, etc.) and down to the less famously, but still extravangently, wealthy people of our world.

My concern with implementation is single: we non-profits rarely are in a position to focus on the long-term cultivation of donors necessary for such a quest. It is one thing for Charles Collier of Harvard to adopt such a stance, as he sits atop one of the world's largest piles of gold (Harvard's endowment). For him, there is no desperation to pay his own salary or keep the lights on in the library.

That being said, I think that the first step is to get non-profits' boards involved in this process. Anyone willing to step up to the plate to serve as a trustee should be willing to spend a few hours additional time pondering the impact of their life's philanthropy.

Of course, every board is different. I currently work for an organization that struggles to get a quorum at our quarterly meetings (that's right, not monthly but quarterly). I am afraid that we would struggle to get anyone to attend an event like this... even though our intent would be pure, the perception would be that we want them to write us even more heavily into their will (i.e. we are thinking of killing them off to get the big bucks).




On a slightly related note.... this blog challenges the inherent selfishness of some donors' philanthropic pursuits:

Give and Take: Message to Donors: It's Not About You



What do you think?