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For many of our donors, the start of a planned giving conversation can be as simple as thanking the donors for their loyal support, asking them why they are so loyal, and then asking them how they would feel about a conversation involving other ways to support your organization beyond writing a check.

One of my first planned giving conversations as a donor was with my friend Dave. Here are 5 key takeaways from that conversation.

  1. Dave thanked me for my loyalty, which was worth the phone call.
  2. He asked me why I was so loyal.
  3. He asked me an open-ended question, i.e., one that I couldn’t answer “no” to: “How would I feel about a conversation on other ways to support the college”?
  4. When discussing a bequest, Dave used the term “future” plans—some people don’t feel they are currently wealthy enough to have an “estate.”
  5. He showed me how easy planned giving could be, mentioning that some (like retirement beneficiary designations) did not require attorneys or long, drawn-out processes.

Action Steps:

  • If you are not currently having these conversations with your donor start today.
  • Incorporate some of Dave’s process.