Meeting the Challenge of Qualifying Planned Giving Prospects

Yesterday I presented a Webinar on the topic: Meeting the Challenge of Qualifying Planned Giving Prospects.

I decided to develop this Webinar because in my consulting work I find that most charities are good at staying in contact with active planned gift prospects and moving them toward making a gift, but many of these same charities fall short when it comes to qualifying new planned gift prospects to keep their active pipeline filled.

Qualifying planned giving prospects requires relationship building more than relationship cultivation. Overcoming inertia and distractions, creating effective incentives for staff to make planned giving donor qualification calls, and specific calling skills all contribute to effective relationship building. 

Here are a few things you should consider for improving how your organization approaches qualifying planned giving prospects:

  • Make specific time for qualification calls
  • Be sure that your performance measurements reward finding new prospects
  • Create a process that is easy to manage to introduce yourself to unqualified prospects with a goal to meet them in person
  • Benchmark your own data to determine how your planned giving donors are different from other donors and target that profile among your unqualified prospects

During the presentation I took some great questions but another great one came to me by email after the session: "How often do you suggest following up with donors once they have communicated their planned gift?

Stewarding those who have completed a planned gift is an important component of your program.  At a minimum these donors should receive a visit once a year.  However, there are additional ways that you can steward these donors.  Be sure that they receive publications, are listed in your annual report (and receive a copy), and get invitations to events hosted by your organization. All of these are important elements of stewardship, yet may require just adding these folks to mailing lists for things you are already doing.