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Four Principles About Giving...


1) Every meaningful donation begins with a conversation.

Do you have a process or methods to open up the space to have a meaningful conversation?  Have you used tools like "values cards" or well, thought-out questions about the donor's life story, to determine how they like to give?

2) If we listen attentively to each donor's story, we can discover they they give.

Philanthropy coach and guru, Jay Steenhuysen, has studied and researched the 8 "Why's" of donors' givings for decades. The 8 levels of motivation Jay has identified are as follows: charitable intent, values, leverage, role model, family, expert, legacy, significance.  Additionally, there are 6 ways in which a donor "engages" these motivations: obligation, gratitude, relationship, mission, program, passion.  Obviously, we want to see more than simple obligation in giving and at work in a donor's passion.  These engagements can be fostered and enhanced with the proper guidance.  Are we just too busy to really listen ... trying to pack too much into our day.  The late Jim Rohn was big on the saying, "wherever you are, be there." This is wise counsel to apply in all areas of our lives.

3) Once we understand the "why" of a donor's giving, it's relatively easy to then direct the "how".

"How" is not simple fill-in-the-box forms, or doing things as we have always done in the past. To best seek the "how to give" means coming to the table, being on the same side of the table as the donor, and then helping guide the donor into seeking a meaningful, and well thought-out process.  Understanding the "Why" brings clarity. The "why" must then remain as the focal point to lead to the "how" of the planning process.

4) Sometimes the story "about" the gift ... is more valuable than the gift itself.

Often, "the story" brings heirs and others together encouraging and inspiring them to be, or to become, "thoughtful" and intentional givers. It brings a sense of intentional stewardship to those that hear the story. Consider how you might capture the story. One suggestion is to record an audio of such a priceless legacy conversation, or chat. Utilize well, thought-out questions in the process, and really have fun being there with others in their story.

The outcome: ALL will be blessed, both today and in the future.

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Comment   |  7 years, 1 month ago from Maitland, FL