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Have You Alienated Your Friends Today?

Planned giving is all about people. That’s a no-brainer – or it should be. So how are you making the best of your relationships with your constituents? A great way to do it WRONG is to think of them as targets.

That’s why I always preach – and practice – the following: Treat your prospect like a donor, and your donor like a friend. Read more about this idea here, and here.

And you can also read a great blog post on the same subject by Leo Notenboom on asmallchange.net.

The title is, “I Am Not A Prospect,” and in it Leo makes a powerful argument against the very word “prospect.” Writing from the point of view of a potential contributor, he says:

In fact, it would be best if you didn’t even use the word privately…. It implies a one-dimensional relationship that, at its worst, just involves the “prospect” of a donation.

He’s not playing Language Police. He’s suggesting that a word like “prospect” can foster — and betray – a mental habit of looking at your organization’s supporters merely as fundraising targets. Because that habit can lead you to an “Aren’t You Dead Yet?” attitude towards them. Very bad for business.

People are multi-dimensional. Your relationships with them should be founded on that. Not just the expectation of monetary contributions.

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