My last post focused on a Fast Company article in which the author encouraged readers to “listen to learn, not just to be polite”:
Tomorrow I will be online with Bill McMorran of Green Oak Consulting http://greenoakconsulting.com/home.html and staff from Everence http://www.everence.com to deliver a webinar about Creating Planned Giving Programs That Work. So why mention more listening, deeper learning?
Simply put, the conversations that you have with prospective planned giving donors are one of the keys to having a successful planned giving program. In my experience, such conversations have often required more listening and deeper learning than discussions about a campaign or current gift.
What do I mean by more listening? Listening:
- Over a longer period of time and
- With more meetings per donor.
Deeper learning you say, what does that mean? Elders, people in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond are typically in a reflective stage of life, they are making meaning of their lives (see How to Say It to Seniors by David Solie).
If a donor with whom you are speaking is actively working to make meaning of their life, they may be reflecting as they speak with you. Donors who are still in the process of making decisions about what has really mattered to them may need more conversations and more time to come to conclusions that are comfortable for them.
As a Celebrations of Life Independent Certified Legacy Navigator I have been trained to assist elders and others who are on this journey. Even if you are not trained in a process, you can potentially improve the return on time invested in your planned giving program by listening more and seeking deeper learning (about your prospects).
Discovering what really matters to planned giving donors — and tying their values to the work, programs, and needs of your nonprofit – can lead to gifts that transform not only the lives of those your nonprofit serves, of the donor as well!