Helping Your Donors During A Life Transition

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             Making a Gift During a Life Transition   

Sometimes potential donors may want to be engaged and donate to your organization when experiencing a life transition.  When there is a major change within a person’s life such as illness, death of a loved one, or even sending their last child off to college, this life changing event may become an impetus to make a planned gift as a means to feel whole again.  They may welcome the opportunity to sit down with a professional gift advisor to plan out the best way in which they can provide financial support.  It is up to you and your gift development team to help people accomplish their charitable goals during moments of life transition.

You can be instrumental in the gift planning process by sharing with the potential donor the joy of making a difference through a planned sustainable gift. Be ready to illustrate for the potential donor how his/her financial support and involvement will be especially impactful. One way to accomplish this is by providing examples of donor impact at various giving levels.  Likewise, be sure to explore different gift options with your potential donor such as your endowment fund, which can be a good choice for those who want to create a memorial.

Provide a general overview of your planned gift options during your first meeting with the prospective donor. He or she should walk away with a firm awareness of the many rewarding opportunities for making a planned gift to your charity.  Right before the conclusion of your meeting, request that the prospective donor fill out a data card that requests information to help you analyze the donor’s charitable interests and giving readiness. Be certain to request and schedule a follow-up personal visit where you can discuss more concretely charitable proposals. Upon returning to your office, combine and analyze information gathered from your conversation with the prospective donor with the data collected from your data card.  If you collected good information during your first discussion, use it to create a proposal that matches the charitable motivations of your prospective donor.  Meet with your donor and his/her advisor and share how your planned gift proposal is a good fit and ask for a gift commitment.

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