Donor-Centered Planned Giving & Emotion in Grant Proposals

Sections of this topic

    1. Donor-Centered Planned Giving – Part I
    by John Elbare

    Planned gifts almost always result from strong donor relationships, yet many non-profits fail at this. When a donor feels a part of your charitable mission, planned giving becomes almost inevitable. But when donors feel neglected or ignored, planned giving is very difficult.

    Do you work hard to raise funds? Perhaps you hold fundraising events, send out mail solicitations, seek online donations, and conduct an annual fund program. You work your heart out, put in long hours, and use all of your creative juices just to meet your annual goals. Yet you may be leaving the big prize on the table, unclaimed.

    In almost every case, a donor can leave a planned gift that is much larger than his or her cumulative lifetime giving. Yet many organizations are solely preoccupied with bringing in immediate, spendable dollars, and they ignore this potential for huge future revenues.

    If you focus solely on immediate revenue, you are not taking the long view. You are overlooking the real value of your donors, if all you ever ask for is an annual gift. Sooner or later you will hit a ceiling where it becomes very hard to achieve significant increases in revenue from year to year.

    The only dependable way to break out of this trap is to make a serious effort to raise planned gifts. The beauty of planned giving is that it allows your ordinary donors, even those of modest means, to make large gifts in the future.

    These planned gifts can be transformational for your non-profit, as they provide large fusions of revenue, once they start arriving. It is paradoxical, but the only surefire way to achieve big increases in fundraising revenue is to take the patient approach to developing donor relationships.

    The trick is to turn your donors into loyal donors. Given their future value as planned gift donors, the effort is time well spent.

    (Part II posts next Wednesday)

    John Elbare, CFP, has spent the last 30 years
    helping non-profits raise more money
    through large, planned gifts. He shows them how to add
    an effectively planned giving strategy for their current fundraising effort
    without a lot of extra expense or staff.

    You can contact him at John Elbare, CFP.
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks?

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)

    2. Using Both Reason and Emotion in Grant Proposals – Part II: Emotion
    by Lynn deLearie

    Last week I emphasized that the use of reason – or logic – is important because proposals must logically show that non-profits will use grant funds to effectively deliver the outcomes that grantors are hoping to achieve.

    The use of emotion is important because decisions about grants are made by people, and people are swayed by emotions. We have all heard the phrase: “You need to connect with someone’s heart before you can connect with their wallet.” This is certainly true in individual fundraising – that’s why we all receive so many heart-touching direct mail appeals. This element is as important as a reason when seeking grants.

    In Using Emotion:
    Give hope in your needs section. People want to help you accomplish something. They want to feel that they are helping you to help others; and, they tend to disengage when they feel your cause is hopeless.

    Cite credible research in your needs and methodology sections. People listen to authority figures. Credible research tends to set proposal reviewers’ minds at ease and allows them to more easily make decisions based on their feeling.

    Include a client profile in your demographics section. People connect more to a real person than to a bunch of statistics.

    Mention/discuss your collaborators and other stakeholders, even if not requested. People like to be part of a pack, and grantors want to know that you are part of a larger cause … a cause with other involved stakeholders.

    Include other local, relevant, institutional donors and giving amounts in your program budget and program sustainability sections. Let foundation reviewers know that their peers have already evaluated “you,” and have approved !! That’s peer pressure at work.

    Include tangible results in your evaluation section. Tangibility bolsters the belief that the grant will make a difference.

    Include a cover letter – even when not requested. Include photos and stories about your clients – again this helps people at the foundation connect to your cause.

    Lynn deLearie Consulting, LLC, helps nonprofit organizations develop,
    enhance and expand grants programs, and helps them
    secure funding from foundations and corporations.
    Contact Lynn deLearie

    Look for Lynn’s ebook on Grants & Grantsmanship.
    It’s part of
    The Fundraising Series of Ebooks
    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)

    If you would like to comment/expand on the either-or-both of the above pieces, or would just like to offer your thoughts on the subjects of this posting, we encourage you to “Leave a Reply.”