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Donor Fulfillment From The Financial Planner’s Point Of View

Guest Blog: From time to time, industry leaders, experts and generally inspiring people will share their thoughts on this blog. We asked the team at Evans May Wealth for three tips about donor fulfillment in charitable giving they would share with those of us who work in the philanthropic sector. Thanks to Elizabeth Evans, Emily Palmer and the team at Evans May Wealth for their insight.

Tip #1: Identify the specific impact of a gift, defining both the current impact and legacy impact of the gift.


Donors are constantly receiving gift requests. A request that quantifies the value and impact of a gift is meaningful to the donor. Research confirms that donor fulfillment increases when a specific outcome or person is tied to a gift. If these outcomes can be defined by their current impact and the lasting impact, the donor is fulfilled by both the current and future impact of their gift. This will also increase the likelihood that the organization is at the top of the donor’s list for gifts in future years.

Tip #2: Encourage family involvement.


Whether through information sharing or active involvement of family members in the gifting process, involving supportive family members and/or children can lead to greater donor gratification in addition to inspiring future generations to give. We have assisted clients with establishing family foundations for this reason – they want their entire family to be involved in the gifting process.


Another example involves a fellow financial advisor who shared with me that he has a donor-advised fund, and his children have donor-advised funds too. When they recommend grants, they do it together, and his children make gifting recommendations that are meaningful to them. The family ultimately makes a greater impact collectively. Again, donors feel more gratified and fulfilled through a collective and collaborative process, which leads to more gifting over time.

Tip #3: Empower donors with meaningful decisions beyond opening their wallets.


The fulfillment of gift giving is amplified when a donor feels that the gift is personal; that the gift involved meaningful decisions to see it to completion. Making the process too predetermined can make the gift feel transactional. Examples of meaningful decisions for donors can include determining the timing of the gift, defining the specific initiative sponsored by the gift, being involved in crafting the communication of the gift, and, in some cases, participating in the delivery of the gift to the end beneficiary. Give donors the opportunity to be involved in the process!


Cape Fletcher Associates www.CapeFletcher.com

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