Posts tagged ‘Partnership for Philanthropic Planning’

August 23, 2013

5 Words or Phrases that Can Cause Donors to Cringe

Words have the power to inspire. They also have the power to alienate. Words can touch us or they can fall flat.

In my previous post, I shared seven words that, when used together, can earn you the respect, trust, and appreciation of prospects and donors.

Word by Whatknot via FlickrMary Cahalane, of the Hands-on Fundraising blog, looked at words from a different perspective in her excellent post “7 Words and Phrases that Should Die.” 

Inspired by Mary, I now want to share my list of planned-giving and major-giving related words and phrases that, at times, make me cringe:

Planned Giving. I know, I just used the term “planned giving,” and now I’m telling you it makes me cringe. Let me explain. The term is jargon. As such, I think it’s fine to use with other nonprofit professionals in the office. It nicely encompasses all of the various ways of planning a gift. Unfortunately, most donors have either no idea what the term means or only a vague, partial notion.

When speaking with a prospect, avoid talking about “planned giving.” Instead, talk with your prospects about their “legacy” and the specific gift structure(s) you want to suggest. For example, talk about a gift in a will or a Charitable Gift Annuity rather than using the confusing and, for the context, overly broad term “planned giving.” If you need a generic term to use with prospects, I prefer “legacy giving,” while I acknowledge that that phrase is not completely without its own problems.

Bequest. When you read the previous paragraph, you might have noticed I avoided this word. You might have guessed that I don’t particularly like the word “bequest.” If you did, you’re right.

First, many people don’t really understand what a “bequest” is. Second, many of those who do understand the word think it is something only rich folks do. Third, the word sounds funereal to some.

Instead of using the word “bequest,” talk with prospects in simple, easy to understand terms. Don’t ask them to make a charitable bequest commitment. Ask your prospects to include your organization in their will.

Philanthropy. This is a great word. It comes from a Greek word literally meaning “love of humankind.” Unfortunately, some prospects, and even some donors, find the word alienating.

I remember speaking with a woman while we were waiting in the wings at a National Philanthropy Day luncheon. I was about to present her with the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia Legacy Award for Planned Giving Philanthropist of the Year. She told me she was honored to be present, but she wanted me to know, “I’m not really a philanthropist.”

I explained to the award recipient what the word “philanthropy” means. And I explained that it is not a term that is exclusive to the wealthy. I made sure she understood that she is indeed a philanthropist. I’m glad I had the chance to explain “philanthropy” to this caring donor. Sadly, we don’t always have such an opportunity.

If you’re thinking about using the word “philanthropy,” know your audience and know whether the term will resonate. Just keep in mind that 70 percent of people with investible assets of $1 million or more do not consider themselves wealthy, according to The UBS Investor Watch. If your prospects think “philanthropy” is only for the wealthy, and they’re not wealthy, you’re going to have some problems if you toss around the word. Words such as “legacy” or “support” might do nicely instead.

March 25, 2013

Special Report: PPPGP Recognizes Michael J. Rosen

The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia has recognized Michael J. Rosen, CFRE for his board service. Allen F. Thomas, JD, CFRE, CAP, President of PPPGP, presented Rosen with a certificate during PPPGP’s March 22, 2013 luncheon program.

Rosen recognized by PPPGP

Michael Rosen (left) receives recognition certificate from Allen Thomas.

Rosen, the President of ML Innovations, served on the PPPGP board from 2007 through 2012. During that time, he held a variety of positions including Chair of the Programming Committee, Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President.

During his tenure, PPPGP achieved a great deal despite the challenging economic situation. PPPGP’s annual conference saw a 33 percent increase in attendance. The number of members set a new record high. The budget was balanced and the cash reserve was enhanced while PPPGP held the line on costs to its members. Additional programs were initiated including roundtable meetings and a nationally recognized two-day fundamentals of planned giving workshop. 

PPPGP also added networking opportunities and a mentoring program. The organization also enhanced its website to include a jobs board and a regular ethics column. PPPGP also created the Legacy Award for Planned Giving Philanthropist of the Year. In addition, the organization changed its name from the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia to the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Philadelphia to be more inclusive and more representative of the philanthropic planning process.

March 15, 2013

Do You Know How to Navigate in the Gray Area?

I recently published a post about how City of Hope plans to host a special fundraising event at odds with the organization’s mission. Most readers who responded to a poll at the end of the post felt the event is inappropriate with many even finding the event unethical.

The unscientific poll reveals that 49 percent of respondents feel that the “Let Them Eat Cake” event is “Inappropriate but Not Unethical,” 27 percent say the event is “Unethical & Inappropriate,” 13 percent say the event is a “Great Idea All Around,” and 10 percent believe the event is “Appropriate, Whether on Mission or Not.”

I’m comforted to know that over three-quarters of the respondents feel the same way as I do about the City of Hope event. However, some of the comments I’ve received on this blog site, on LinkedIn, and via email concern me a bit.

Perhaps the comments are a result of how I worded the post or phrased the poll responses. Some people seem to be under the impression that one’s actions are either purely ethical or purely unethical. In certain cases, those folks would be correct. Some actions are clearly ethical or not. Stealing money from Girl Scouts selling cookies (this really happened) is clearly unethical.

However, not all situations are black and white, ethical or unethical.

While the legality or illegality of an action is certainly a guideline, such as the theft incident I just described, something can be unethical without being illegal. SScales of Justice by mikecogh via Flickrome situations in which we find ourselves put us into a gray area. The most challenging ethical dilemmas often involve situations that are not black and white. If they didn’t, they really wouldn’t be dilemmas, would they?

When considering the possible, multiple responses to a situation, we will often find some alternatives are more ethical while some are less ethical. In the case of City of Hope, the organization could choose to continue to host its “Let Them Eat Cake” event without any changes although many readers found it at odds with the nonprofit’s mission and, therefore, unethical. Alternatively, the organization could choose not do any event.

However, the organization has other options. For example, City of Hope can run its cake event but offer healthy alternatives and educational material as well. Or, the organization could host a different event like the Healthy Chef Competition in Vancouver, Canada that Rory Green, a development professional and blogger, told me about.

Again, some alternative courses of action are more ethical or less ethical than others. The objective should be to always choose the best option, make the best decision.

The most challenging ethical dilemmas of all, however, do not have any good, ethical solution. They’re no-win situations. Think of the novel/movie Sophie’s Choice or the “Kobayashi Maru” test from the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Even in these no-win situations, we must cope as best as we can to be the best we can.

As those who work in the nonprofit sector, we must understand that our greatest asset is the trust of the public. The more trust people have in charities, the more likely they are to donate. And, with greater trust comes larger contributions.

January 25, 2013

To Sue or Not to Sue Over Unpaid Pledges?

Sometimes, nonprofit organizations sue philanthropists over unpaid pledges. This was recently the case with the Kansas City Art Institute. When a charity pursues this type of legal action, it sends shockwaves throughout the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.

I do believe there are times when a nonprofit can and should sue a donor. However, this should only be done as an absolute last resort. The three instances when a lawsuit might be acceptable are:

1. The donor dies with an outstanding pledge and an heir challenges the will. In that case, the nonprofit might need to sue the estate to establish its claim and collect.

2. The nonprofit incurs real expense based on the donor’s commitment. For example, based on a pledge agreement, the nonprofit breaks-ground on a new building. The nonprofit might need to sue simply to survive.

3. The donor is about to or has entered bankruptcy. Suing the donor would be a way for the nonprofit to establish its claim. (By the way, I suspect that this fear might be what may have triggered the Art Institute case.)

In any case, suing a donor should only be done after careful consideration and only when all other options have been exhausted.

To sue or not sue over unpaid pledges? That is the question. The answer, offered by Brian M. Sagrestano, JD, CFRE and Robert E. Wahlers, MS, CFRE, is: Avoid the problem in the first place!

Philanthropic Planning Companion coverBrian and Robert are friends of mine. They are both seasoned, wise development professionals who have served on the national board of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. I’m pleased that they have offered to share some of their wisdom below as they introduce us to the concept of “concierge stewardship.”

Brian and Robert both generously provided insights and material for my book, Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing, for which I won the AFP-Skystone Partners Prize for Research in Fundraising and Philanthropy.

Now, Brian and Robert have written their own book, Philanthropic Planning Companion: The Fundraisers’ and Professional Advisors’ Guide to Charitable Gift Planning, and I’m honored to have been included in their comprehensive volume. The book is part of the AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series.

The official description of the book notes, “For fundraisers and professional advisors alike, The Philanthropic Planning Companion is the one-stop resource you’ll keep by your side to help your donors/clients meet their charitable and personal planning objectives.”

So, do you want to avoid a nightmare at your organization? If so, read on:

 

The Kansas City Art Institute recently sued Larry and Kristina Dodge for failure to pay $4 million on a $5 million pledge that was to be used to pay for construction of a new building, according to The Kansas City Star.

When the Dodges attempted to defend themselves (rather than hire an attorney they indicated that they could not afford), they made procedural errors and a default judgment was entered against them for the full $4 million due on the pledge. According to The Star, the Dodges made three payments on their pledge before their financial situation was impacted by the Great Recession, limiting their ability to fulfill the commitment.

In the article, Larry Dodge is quoted, indicating that he and his wife were in negotiation with the Institute to come up with a payment plan when it unexpectedly filed suit to collect on the pledge.

Regardless of the outcome, the reputations of both the Dodges and the Institute are forever harmed. Prospective donors will think twice before making a major commitment to a charity that would sue them to collect on a pledge. Meantime, the Dodges reputation, despite their many years of generous philanthropy, will be forever tarnished.

We cannot judge the merits of the Art Institute’s action or the ability of the Dodges to pay on their pledge, as we are not privy to all of the facts of the case. However, it raises a much larger issue about charities and pledges.

October 19, 2012

Latest Stelter Report Flawed but Still Insightful

Earlier this month, The Stelter Company presented the findings of its latest research project at the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning’s 2012 National Conference on Philanthropic Planning. What Makes Them Give: 2012 Stelter Donor Insight Report is the Company’s third study of planned giving in the United States.

As a nerd and as the winner of the 2011 Association of Fundraising Professionals/Skystone Partners Prize for Research in Fundraising and Philanthropy, I enjoyed reading the report. And, I thank The Stelter Company for adding to the nonprofit sector’s base of knowledge.

While flawed, the report does offer some interesting tidbits. This post will examine some of the useful tidbits and problematic flaws. Some of the insights are new while others will confirm what experienced gift planners have long known or suspected.

Many Planned Givers Are NOT Loyal Donors

Perhaps the most interesting finding is that 21 percent of those who have made a planned gift “never donated to the charity before putting a planned gift in place.” An additional 20 percent did give to the charity prior to making a planned gift, but did so for less than five years.

The conventional wisdom has been that loyal donors make the best planned giving prospects. However, the report shows that 41 percent of planned gift donors are outside of the loyal-donor model. This underscores the importance of making planned gift messaging ubiquitous.

Planned Givers Are NOT Always Large Current Donors

Among those who have made a planned gift and who have also made an annual giving donation to the charity, 40 percent gave less than $500. Only 16 percent have given $5,000 or more. While the old donor pyramid, where small donors become major donors and then become planned gift donors, may be true for many, the vast majority of planned gift donors have not first been major donors.

This means that, when looking for prospective planned gift donors, development professionals must consider the organization’s entire database. This includes large donors, medium donors, small donors, and even non-donors.

Bequest Giving is the Most Popular Planned Gift

The study found that “a bequest is the most popular vehicle for planned giving.” The report confirms what has been a long-held belief among gift planners and a fact that I included in my book, Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing.

This is good news for all nonprofit organizations. Virtually all nonprofits can easily and inexpensively promote bequest giving. For those organizations with a bit more expertise and resources, a bequest conversation or a bequest commitment may provide a gateway for a conversation with the donor about more complex giving vehicles. If the market finds a bequest to be the most popular form of planned giving, savvy planned gift marketers will take notice and market accordingly. On the other hand, bequest giving may be the most popular vehicle because it is the one that is already most widely promoted by the nonprofit sector; perhaps this should be examined in a future study.

Many Planned Givers Are Reluctant to Tell the Charity

Among those who have made a planned gift, 49 percent say that they have not told the charity. This raises an important question not asked as part of this study: Why haven’t you told the charity?

I suspect that many donors simply consider their estate planning a private matter and, therefore, choose not to disclose a planned gift provision to the charity that will benefit. I also suspect that others do not want recognition from the charity that they suspect will lead to more pressure to give more either to that charity or another nonprofit organization that takes notice. But, the biggest reason for nondisclosure may simply be that donors do not understand the value of disclosure to themselves and to the organization. Development professionals need to do a better job of articulating the benefits of disclosure to encourage more donors to do it.

Planned Givers and Prospects Use Social Media

A majority of planned gift donors and prospects surveyed use at least one of five social media networks tested:

–Facebook, 39 percent

–Google Plus, 19 percent

–LinkedIn, 17 percent

–Twitter, 6 percent

–MyLife, 1 percent

The report found, “Almost one-fourth of major donors, current planned givers and best prospects in their 40s would like to connect with nonprofits on Facebook.” Donors and prospects are using social media. Smart development professionals will meet donors and prospects where they are. This means including social media in the marketing mix.

Few People Are Asked for a Planned Gift

Only 26 percent of planned gift donors and best prospects — “people who say they will definitely or probably make a planned gift in the future” — say they have received a letter or email about planned giving. Only 17 percent say they have been asked directly for a planned gift.

If nonprofit organizations want more planned gifts, they need to ask more people, more often, and in the right way. With so few people receiving direct planned giving communications, there is not a high-degree of competition. On the other hand, this means tremendous potential.

While What Makes Them Give contains some useful and valuable information, I have some issues with other elements of the report:

October 10, 2012

Special Report: PPP National Conference on Philanthropic Planning Follow-up

The 2012 Partnership for Philanthropic Planning’s National Conference on Philanthropic Planning has come and gone. I thought it was a terrific conference in New Orleans because of the efforts of staff and the volunteers.

Personally, I enjoyed co-facilitating a session, attending other sessions, meeting PPP’s new President/CEO, selling and signing copies of my book (Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing), seeing old buddies, and making new friends.

If you weren’t able to attend the conference, or even if you were there, I have some useful information for you:

 

1. Wiley Authors’ Central

Authors Michael J. Rosen, Margaret May Damen, Brian M. Sagrestano

During the conference, publisher John Wiley & Sons hosted a booth for the authors of four of its books. You can download the flyer describing the books here. The flyer also contains QR Codes you can use to download a free copy of the corresponding book’s Table of Contents and first chapter. Below, you’ll find the titles of the four books, which you can click to go to The Nonprofit Bookstore (Amazon) where you can learn more and purchase a discounted copy:

 

2. Council Conversation

In New Orleans, leaders from PPP councils from around the country gathered for the Council Conversation. Philip Purcell, JD (Past President of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana), Barbara Yeager (Director of Operations at PPP), and I (Immediate Past President of PPP of Greater Philadelphia) facilitated the gathering. The program looked at “Tips for Teaching Adult Learners” and two innovative program ideas: World Café and Pecha Kucha.

PPP will be posting the materials from the Council Conversation on its website.

If you would like to discuss having me do a presentation for your group, please contact me.

 

3. New PPP President/CEO

During the conference, Michael Kenyon was introduced as PPP’s new President/CEO. I first wrote about Kenyon when his hiring was announced. In New Orleans, I had the opportunity to speak with him for a few moments. He’s eager to assume the helm of PPP later this month. He’s passionate about the organization and is looking forward to building on its strengths. I wish him well.

 

4. How to Order Session Recordings

If you attended the conference, you know that there were often many sessions of interest being presented at the same time. It was impossible to participate in all of them. If you weren’t in New Orleans, you sadly missed them all.

However, you don’t need to feel too disappointed.

PPP recorded virtually all of the sessions and is making them available in two formats: MP3 ($13 per session) and CD ($15 per session). A complete set of conference MP3 recordings is $199.

For a complete list of recorded sessions and to order recordings online, visit AVEN-Audio Visual Education Network.

September 21, 2012

There is No Next Best Thing to Being There

I was in the car in downtown Philadelphia with my wife when I noticed an interesting advertisement at a bus shelter while we were stopped at a red light. It really resonated with me. The ad, promoting Citizens Bank, read:

Talk to us, because brochures are terrible listeners. Sit down with us today to find out how good banking can help you.”

The ad provided the address to two bank branches in the downtown area. The ad also provided the bank’s URL.

I thought it was a pretty good ad. It was customer focused and talked about how the bank can “help you” and how the bank is a good listener. It was folksy and friendly, using the phrase “Sit down with us…”

The customer-centered orientation of Citizens Bank is one that all nonprofit organizations should embrace. Being customer and donor centered, actually talking with people, will build stronger, lasting relationships that will result in more funds being made available for mission fulfillment.

So, what are the things that nonprofit organizations can do that are inspired by the Citizens Bank ad? Here are just eight ideas:

1. Brochures can be useful, but… At most organizations, a great deal of time, effort, and money is spent designing, writing, and printing brochures. Just this week, there was even a discussion about brochures on the listserve of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning. Very often, brochures are written and designed by committee which means a great deal of staff resources are invested. Yes, brochures can be somewhat useful. However, actually speaking with a prospect or donor is a far more powerful way to communicate. Brochures can broadcast a message, but they can’t tell you how the reader is reacting.

Just as you invest a great deal of time and money into developing brochures, you should make the same or greater investment in polishing your presentation and listening skills. Read and attend seminars about making effective presentations. Learn about powerful sales tactics. Discover how to be a better, active listener. If you’re already a good communicator, strive to be a great one. And, remember, there’s no substitute for actually being there for your prospect or donor.

2. Invite the public to contact you. Be open to talking to the public. I mean everybody, not just big donors. Let people know your door is open. Encourage calls and visits.

Throughout the course of the year, try to get in front of or on the phone with more folks than you did last year. Take more folks on a tour of your facility. Engage more people. Even if people do not accept your invitation, they’ll still appreciate your openness.

September 7, 2012

5 Lessons Every Nonprofit Can Learn from a Starbucks Barista

Starbucks has built an international reputation for making a fine cup of coffee. But, did you know that you can learn at least five valuable lessons from a Starbucks barista?

I’m not talking about learning how to make a great espresso or cappuccino. While a Starbucks barista could certainly help you with that, I’m talking about five lessons every nonprofit development professional can learn to be a more effective fundraiser.

The lessons don’t come from just any barista, though. I’m talking about Nicole who fixes beverages at the Starbucks in the Nashville International Airport.

Let me tell you my story, and share with you what I learned from Nicole:

Lesson 1: Never say, “It’s not my job.”

I was just passing through Nashville on my way to a speaking engagement for the Association of Fundraising Professionals St. Louis Regional Chapter. I had to make a connecting flight. I passed a Starbucks on the way to my gate. There was a line, but I had plenty of time. So, I queued up for my trenta-iced-unsweetened-green-tea.

I patiently waited to place my order with the cashier, the normal procedure. But, I was startled by the voice of the barista. She called over to me, before I had even made my way to the cashier, to ask for my order. I was surprised. It actually took me a moment to understand what she was doing. Then, I gave her my order.

By the time I made it up to the cashier and paid for my drink, instead of the usual wait, Nicole had it ready for me. I was stunned with how quickly the line moved and how quickly I was served. Because this experience was so vastly different than any other Starbucks experience I have ever had, and because I had some time to kill before my flight, I stood and just watched the operation. I wanted to understand what was so special about this Starbucks. That’s when I realized that the difference was Nicole.

She could have simply waited until the cashiers gave her drink orders to fill. After all, it was not her job to take orders. But, Nicole saw a line of passengers trying to rush off for their flights. She knew they needed to get in and get out as quickly as possible. And, because she was able to assist, she did even though it wasn’t her job.

In our own organizations, it’s easy to fall back on our job descriptions. It’s easy to think, “It’s not my job. Let someone else take care of it.” But, when everyone in our organizations goes the extra distance for those receiving service or those donating money, we show that we care.

My wife was recently treated at Lankenau Medical Center. It’s a large facility. When walking down the hall, if you even look confused, a member of the staff will stop and offer assistance. Even doctors will do this. This is just one small example of the caring culture at Lankenau.

At most other hospitals I’ve visited, this has not been the case. I guess folks at those other hospitals think it’s not their job to help lost visitors, that’s what the information desk is for. Anyway, can you guess which hospital has a warm place in my heart for this and so many other reasons?

If you and your colleagues refuse to say, “It’s not my job,” you’ll help take a step toward creating or enhancing your own culture of caring. When you do that, you’ll be building relationships that make fundraising much easier.

Lesson 2: Be customer/donor centered.

Nicole was definitely customer focused. She knew we were all concerned about making our flights. So, she did what she could to keep us moving along. And, she anticipated our needs.

One of my pet peeves with Starbucks is that after I get my beverage, I always have to hunt for where they have the straws and napkins. Then, I have to figure out which straw goes with my beverage size. It wastes time, and it makes me feel stupid as I stumble around trying to find these items.

However, Nicole knows this straw-hunt ritual is a time waster. So, understanding my needs, she made sure to have the correct straw right there next to my iced-tea.

August 14, 2012

Special Report: PPP Hires New President/CEO

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Michael Kenyon

The Partnership for Philanthropic Planning has announced it has hired a new President/Chief Executive Officer. Michael Kenyon will assume the position on October 26, 2012. The position has been held by Tanya Howe Johnson, CAE who announced, in September 2011, her plan to step down after 20 years in the position.

PPP issued the following email message on behalf of Michael Kateman, PPP Board Chair:

 

To: PPP members and friends

From: Michael Kateman, Chair, PPP Board of Directors

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’m very pleased to announce that Michael Kenyon is the new President and CEO of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning.

Michael brings a deep passion for the arts and extensive association leadership expertise to his new role with PPP. For the past 11 years, he has been Executive Director of the Percussive Arts Society. At PAS, he led an international music service organization that promotes percussion education, research, performance and appreciation, with 7,500+ members, 50 U.S. chapters and 28 international chapters. Michael’s experience at PAS also includes production of an annual conference that attracts 5,000+ attendees. Among many successful initiatives at PAS, Michael led the organization through development of new facility for the Rhythm! Discovery Center, a museum and educational space that USA Today recently named one of the top places in the United States for hands-on music making.

Michael began his professional life as a musician, working as a drummer with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and a Broadway touring company, and with symphony and jazz ensembles in Arizona, Ohio and New York City. After nearly seven years of performing and touring, he sought a career with a broader scope and transitioned into nonprofit and arts administration. He worked with St. Martin’s Hospitality Center for the homeless and Celebrate Youth, which was recognized by the Kellogg Foundation as an exemplary program in the development of young adults. He also served as executive director of the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, where he oversaw all financial and operational functions of the organization and was also involved in fundraising. Michael holds a Bachelor of Music, Music Performance, and a Master of Music, Performance Pedagogy, both from Arizona State University.

Michael is no stranger to the worlds of fundraising and charitable gift planning. At the New Mexico Jazz Workshop, he was responsible for raising voluntary contributions to cover 30% of the organization’s annual budget. At PAS, he oversaw all fundraising efforts including the annual campaign and the establishment of several endowed scholarships, and specific purpose funds established through charitable remainder trusts.

I encourage you to attend the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning, October 3-5, in New Orleans, where I look forward to introducing you to Michael. He will officially join the PPP staff on October 26.”

 

As a PPP member and Immediate Past President of PPP of Greater Philadelphia, I wish Kenyon well. This is an important transition time for PPP. I look forward to seeing what the Kenyon-era will mean for PPP, the membership, and philanthropy. There are certainly great challenges ahead. But, with those challenges, there are also great opportunities. It will be interesting to see how effectively PPP grapples with the challenges and seizes the opportunities.

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

June 15, 2012

The Nonprofit Sector Has Lost a Good Friend

The nonprofit sector lost an ardent supporter, and my wife and I lost a very close friend on June 6, 2012.

Lisa Halterman (1954-2012)

Lisa Maxine Reisman Halterman touched countless lives. We are all better off for the time she was with us, which was far too brief. Even if you never knew Lisa, she has improved your world in immeasurable ways. Think of a pebble tossed into a still pond causing ripples to expand outward. The impact of Lisa’s philanthropy rippled outward as well.

Lisa was involved with and supported a variety of organizations including the Please Touch Museum, the Rittenhouse Square Flower Market, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Rosenbach Museum, the Philadelphia Film Festival, the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, and the Philadelphia Area Repertory Theatre. She even hosted a special reception to benefit the Association of Fundraising Professionals Political Action Committee.

Though very different from each other, these organizations all enhance the quality of the lives of those they serve and, as a result, enable or inspire those individuals to improve the lives of others. The ripple effect.

Lisa’s philanthropy was generous. Parenthetically, and sadly, not a single nonprofit organization seriously approached her for a planned gift.

Only 22 percent of Americans over the age of 30 say they have been asked to consider a planned gift, according to a report from The Stelter Company. So, I’m not exactly surprised that Lisa was never asked. I just wonder how many other lost opportunities there are every single day? How many people are in your database that should be asked for a planned gift that you just haven’t gotten around to asking?

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