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Your New Job Title: Philanthropy Coach

Donors typically support ten charities a year, with most of their giving focused on about four.

Now I’ve never had the good fortune to work for somebody’s “favorite” charity. I really couldn’t afford to have that scarcity mentality, where a fundraiser thinks that the entire donor’s giving just has to go to their organization. I was abundancy mentality all the way, baby.

There is plenty for every organization the donor wants to give to. Why? Throughout my planned giving career I have worked for organizations that had 9 to 10 figure budgets. But remarkably, all of them had three other things in common as well:

  1. Each raised most of their funds by receiving many tiny gifts, on a monthly basis, from many donors.
  2. All of them didn’t start up a principal and major gifts department until they had been in existence for 20 years or longer.
  3. They all started these departments when they began receiving more and more “lumpy” gifts from maverick donors, who were ignoring the tiny asks and were offering assets other than cash.

Only 7% of millionaires’ wealth is in cash.


Here’s the thing. Maybe the abundance mentality is just another gooey sentiment. After all, an abundance mentality won’t change the fact that most millionaires have only about 7% of their wealth in cash. But creating an abundance reality is what makes our abundance mentality even possible. Abundance reality occurs when we are helping donors create newfound discretionary income, mostly through the monetization of illiquid assets and the resulting tax savings—especially when the charitable deductions that came from a lumpy gift of assets didn’t require any cash to create the charitable tax savings. I love PlannedGiving.com’s Cash vs Stock gift calculator. I use it to compare any long-term appreciated asset with cash. It’s a simple yet powerful tool to help create abundance reality for your donors.

What’s cool about being the Abundance Reality Fundraiser is that sometimes, a very nice chunk of this new discretionary income will be given to your organization. So, even though you may not work for the donor’s favorite organization, you can still be their favorite fundraiser—their abundance reality fundraiser.

Dan Rice serves as the President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board for the National Community Foundation, which provides resources to charitable organizations, foundations, individual donors and their professional advisors. drice@nationalcommunityfoundation.org

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