Imagine getting a call that assures the long-term financial strength and mission viability of your organization. Now imagine that call is the result of basically doing nothing other than answering the phone!
These are phone calls from local attorneys telling a nonprofit that a long-time member or friend has passed away and that the organization has been included in the individual’s estate planning. In some cases, these calls result in organizations receiving six- and even seven-figure gifts.
Experience shows that about half of all estate planning commitments to nonprofits are the result of a conversation between an attorney and his/her client; a conversation that the nonprofit is not even aware of.
Therefore, informing local attorneys and estate planners of your organization’s critically important mission in the community and that you’ve established a credible endowment development program is often times all it takes for local attorneys and financial planners to direct estate gifts your way.
If approximately half of all estate planning commitments to nonprofits are the result of organizational leadership doing nothing, think how many commitments organizations would be receiving if they simply established a basic endowment development program, which includes engaging with local attorneys and estate planners.
The Donor By Design team would love to help you get started!
Soon you could find yourself on the receiving end of a great phone call yourself!
A few weeks later, it was announced that this town was a finalist for the relocation of a major national corporation. On the day the corporate folks came to explore the town further, many local dignitaries lined up to meet them. The intern was allowed to stand in the back of the group and listen in. As he did, he spotted the man he’d previously assumed to be a factory worker standing with the corporate group. This gentleman walked forward and announced to all that this city was one of the finalists because of the kindness he was shown at City Hall.
This long-time public servant told me he’s never forgotten this crucial life lesson.
What about you? Have you ever been stunned and humbled to learn that a (seemingly) small gesture had a huge impact?
Of course… what comes around doesn’t necessarily do so in a positive way when our actions are somewhat lacking.
Coming soon… In the second half of this blog, I’ll share the flip side: A story with a less than happy ending… and we’ll explore Lesson #2.
When I heard my four-year-old daughter squeak those words, I knew she HAD to be in the recital. She loves to dance and enjoys her tap/ballet class, but she’s also quite shy and worries way too deeply for her age. I want her to learn early-on how to tackle her fears and worries.
I remember back to situations in my childhood – even adulthood – where I’ve shied away from or made excuses to avoid situations that made me nervous. Each time I felt nagging regret in the pit of my stomach. Conversely, when I did overcome a fear, the pride and relief felt was infinitely better. I was stronger on the other side.
Are you holding yourself back because of a fear of failure? Maybe you’re reluctant to try something new or you procrastinate (self-sabotage) a project or big task? Or perhaps your perfectionism is getting in the way. Do you only try things you know you can finish perfectly or successfully? It’s fairly common.
One of the biggest fears as a fundraiser is the fear of “the ask.” Fear of how to approach a prospect/donor and worse yet, being rejected. (Bruce reminds us that in many cases, a successful relationship starts with a NO.) Maybe you are putting off a big project or lofty goal because you just aren’t sure you can get there. Or you are avoiding difficult conversation with a donor, staff member or volunteer.
In my search on the subject, experts offer common advice on how to overcome or reduce the fear of failing:
In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”