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Personalizing the Grey Flannel Suit – Part II Seeing, Hearing, and Building Familiarity

Planned giving is about people. Personalization is key to attracting prospects, optimizing donor relationships, and maximizing the donations that result from them. Try the following to enhance that personal touch:

  • Photographs – Seeing is believing. For prospects, photographs literally put a face to your name. So capture images that balance friendliness and professionalism, portraying staff members at ease but in full “customer-relationship management mode.”
  • Phone communications – A greeting like “Good afternoon, this is Sandy, how can I help you?” makes a warm impression. No matter how busy you are, emphasize the personal with responses like, “Oh yes, Mrs. Meyer, thank you for calling,” instead of the sterile, off-putting “Hold please.”
  • E-mail and letters – Your organization’s communications enable you to foreground different members of your team: “Dear Mrs. Meyer, My name is Richard Jones and I am going to make sure we all stay on the same page during the process of finalizing your gift language.” Remember, the team members themselves don’t actually have to write these – you can ghostwrite them – but everyone should know what he or she is supposed to have said!

Just remember: Personalize. Because the impersonal is the opposite of outreach. And outreach makes gifts happen.

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