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AFP eWire October 9, 2012: Print Version

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 50th International Conference on Fundraising in San Diego:
Register by Sept. 28 to Get Your Special Webinar Six-Pack Bonus!!

Act quickly (before October 17th) to take advantage of the Webinar BONUS! Register during the discount registration period, and get up to four (4) select archived webinars for FREE (a $636 Value AND 6 CFRE points!). The webinars are given by top conference speakers! Again, register for the International Conference on Fundraising before October 17th to get the FOUR BONUS webinars!

This year, our goal is to engage and re-energize our profession. Join us and be a part of our efforts to create balance, focus on critical priorities, and simplify complexities—we’ll explore what it means to be Doing The Right Things…Right! 

Go to for more information and register TODAY! See you in San Diego in 2013! 

Top Story

How Well Do You Know Your Planned Giving Prospects?

One in five planned giving donors had never made any gift at all to the recipient charity before making a planned gift, according to a new study by The Stelter Company, which reveals a variety of interesting data about planned giving donors and how charities can begin the planned giving process.

What Makes Them Give?, a new Donor Insight Report by The Stelter Company, was based on 15-minute telephone interviews of 400 adults age 40 and older who were either current or prospective planned givers. Current planned givers stated they currently had a gift in their will or a planned gift to a charity in place. Prospective givers indicated they would definitely or were considering a planned gift.

While planned giving is often seen as the culmination of many years of giving to a particular charity, the study revealed that this trend isn’t consistent among planned giving donors. Forty percent of planned givers had given to the charity for more than ten years, but 20 percent said they had been donating for less than five years, and 21 percent had never donated to the charity before putting a planned gift in place.

In a similar vein, the amount of previous annual giving isn’t necessarily a bellwether of planned giving interest either. Nearly 40 percent of current planned givers with a history of giving make annual donations of less than $500.

Written Communications In, Legacy Societies Out

The study also looked at how charities could improve their communications about planned giving and their stewardship of planned giving donors. More than a third (37 percent) rated the attention they received from charities as excellent, with another third (35 percent) rating it as good. In contrast, 13 percent rated the attention and stewardship as fair, while five percent said it was poor (with 10 percent either unsure).

Not surprisingly, those ratings improved when donors revealed their planned giving to the charity. And in turn, those donors who hadn’t told a charity about their gift and didn’t intend to do so gave lower ratings.

What was slightly surprising was the appeal of written communications over in-person communications. While a majority of respondents didn’t have a preference, almost a quarter (24 percent) said they would welcome more written communications, while half that number (12 percent) preferred more in-person messages. Younger donors in the survey (40 – 49) preferred written communications even more strongly.

Almost no respondents liked the idea of a legacy society. The idea of joining an organization for major donors and/or people who have made a planned gift to a charity was rejected by virtually every best prospect and current planned giver who was not already a member of such a society. Only three percent of nonmembers say they would welcome an invitation.

What Messages Worked

The survey also tested ten messages that supported the ideas of charity and philanthropy. According to the report, just two of the messages considered influential by a majority of respondents.

The most influential message, rated as “strongly influential” by 66 percent of respondents, was “gifts to charities make the world a better place. This message was especially effective for those with some postgraduate education and incomes of $100,000 and up. Those respondents who considered themselves major donors also responded to the statement strongly.

“Giving to charity makes people feel good” was rated as “strong influential” by 56 percent of respondents. In general, individuals with lower incomes (less than $50,000) and less education (no more than a high school education) ranked this message especially high.

The two least influential messages were “people admire donors who give to charities” and “giving to charities is a good way to pay less in taxes.”

Lessons Learned

The reported listed five key recommendations for charities and planned giving fundraisers with regards to their development programs:

  • Increase communication to middle-aged supporters.
  • Focus planned giving messages on a wider variety of donors.
  • Harness the influence of family.
  • Provide singles with more and better attention.
  • Rethink legacy societies.

The report also provides some steps and ideas for charities to take regarding these recommendations, as well as information and data about different demographics of donors.

The survey can be downloaded at The Stelter Company website.



Special Announcement

AFP Diverse Communities Scholarship Application Form Now Available

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy created a new scholarship fund for members of diverse communities to attend the AFP International Conference on Fundraising.  This fund is broken out into three categories:

  • African American
  • Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender (GLBT)
  • General Diversity Fund

Additional categories will be added as other AFP Diverse Communities reach 100 members.

During AFP’s Diversity Scholarship Campaign, which ended on August 31, AFP raised funds for three diversity scholarships for the 2013 Conference:  one General Diversity Scholarships (available to AFP members from any currently identified AFP diverse community: African America, Asian, Faith-based, GLBT, Hispanic, Jewish, or Rural), one African American Scholarship and one GLBT Scholarships.

AFP is able to offer $1,500 scholarships ($595 conference fee + $905 for travel expenses) for each of the currently identified AFP diverse communities. THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to the inaugural diversity scholarship campaign! Your generosity ensured a successful launch of this new program.

AFP is now accepting applications for these diversity scholarships. Click here for the AFP Diversity Scholarship Application form, which resides in the Diversity section of AFP’s website

AFP would appreciate members distributing this opportunity to the colleagues in your personal and professional networks.

The deadline for application submission is October 31, 2012. Completed applications should be emailed to Lori Gusdorf, AFP Membership Services, at Selected candidates will be notified by email by December 1, 2012.

Should you have questions about the AFP Diversity Scholarships Campaign, please contact Lori Gusdorf, AFP Membership Services, at



Fundraising News and Tips

Calling All Millennial Fundraisers 

AFP President and CEO Andre Watt, FInstF, worked with Social Citizens and the Case Foundation to explore how the next generation is shaping fundraising and the philanthropic sector. Andrew blogged on how the fundraising profession needs to attract and engage young Millennials.

National Estate Planning Week

AFP is pleased to support National Estate Planning Week, Oct. 15-21. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils has developed numerous resources to help charities and donors understand and talk about estate planning. Members can learn more at the campaign website, and resources include press release, sample articles, fact sheets and more. 

Watching the Charity Watchdogs: Vignettes from the NASCO Annual Meeting 

Longer but great post from The Nonprofit Quarterly about the recent meeting of the National Association of State Charity Officials, including some analysis of and perspective on measuring impact of nonprofits, accountability and charity affiliates and other issues. Important reading for any nonprofit professional!

AFP Announcements

Sign Up to Serve on AFP’s Committees 

Know someone who would make a great candidate for committee service and help steer the direction of your community? Would you like to serve on one of AFP's committees? Now is your chance to do so! To sign up today, click here.

Avectra to Sponsor 2012 Leadership Academy in Houston

AFP is proud to announce that Avectra is partnering with the association to sponsor its Leadership Academy meetings in Houston, Oct. 18-20. “Avectra is proud to sponsor this year's AFP Leadership Academy,” said Richard Davis, chairman and CEO of Avectra. “Our partnership with AFP is a success because of our mutual desire to support leaders within the AFP community with programs to enrich their career and enhance their leadership skills.” Chapter leaders can still register for the Leadership Academy.


AFP Member Exclusives

This Week's Free AFP Information Exchange Paper for Members:  Involving Your Board Members in Fund Development - Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE

It’s your job to help board members do their job in fund development. But who is “you”? The development officer. The executive director. The board chair. The chair of the board’s fund development committee. No one – including your development officer – does this work alone. This is a team enterprise. Volunteers – especially board members – are particularly important.
• Read the paper! -

Lights...Camera...AFP Action University!This Week We Present an AFP Action University Book Review (Video): Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal, by Oren Klaff

Creating and presenting a great pitch isn't an art—it's a simple science. Applying the latest findings in the field of neuroeconomics, while sharing eye-opening stories of his method in action, Klaff describes how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches. Apply the tactics and strategies outlined in Pitch Anything to engage and persuade your audience—and you'll have more funding and support than you ever thought possible.

• Access this week's AFP Action University Book Review development tool (video and materials) -

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