Written by: Anat Becker, JD
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending our educational program at the historic Racquet Club in Philadelphia. Sometimes I take it for granted that our Council members get to meet in iconic Philadelphia locations. One of our speakers, Patrick Schmitt, traveled from NYC for the day, and was clearly impressed with the elegant club and the ambiance that we all appreciate while we learn, network, and enjoy the sumptuous luncheon. Patrick, co-founder of FreeWill, an innovative new social venture, spoke about the latest research into digital fund raising, specifically for planned gifts. Some of the information confirmed our experience: childless donors make for good planned gift prospects. But some of the other findings of FreeWill could help us all amplify the impact of digital fundraising. I was pleased to hear that donors were much more likely to share the size of their deferred gift if they learned that the information could help their relationship officer. Also, while we know that donors increasingly name a percentage amount (rather than a specific figure) in their estate or retirement plans, the benefit of percentage gifts to organizations was dramatic. Percentage designations surpassed dollar designations by 120%!
To hear about Patrick’s insights on maximizing qualified charitable distributions to your organization, please come to Planned Giving Day on October 30 for another excellent presentation, among numerous others. The offerings this year continue to be relevant, helpful and practical for our daily work.
Another terrific presentation was made by Lynn Malzone Ierardi, JD, who is the current Chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. Lynn talked about her recent book, Storytelling, The Secret Sauce of Fundraising Success. Listening to, and telling, stories can increase both giving and our own professional growth.
Looking forward to seeing you on October 30 at the Union League.