Charities Overcome Seven Challenging Trends Through A Donor-Centric Approach

Charities Overcome Seven Challenging Trends Through A Donor-Centric Approach

Charities face seven challenging planned giving trends, according to a recently released special report, and can overcome the trends by using a donor-centric approach.

According to a recently released Special Report, The 7 Most Influential Planned Giving Trends in 2014, charities face good news and bad news.

The report, originally released in 2002 and updated annually, outlines seven major trends: 1) Charitable giving from individuals, although up for the year, has a huge downward trend; 2) Increasing media and outside “scrutiny” are eroding donor confidence; 3) Nonprofits are increasing at twice the rate of for-profit businesses and battling for limited donor dollars; 4) For-profits have greater resources to compete against resource challenged charities; 5) Planned giving efforts are generally under-funded or neglected in most charities; 6) Short term focus and on/off messaging confuses donors; 7) Information overload is overwhelming donors and drowning out messages, causing the cost of communicating effectively to skyrocket.

The report, available at, also outlines the five major concerns that today’s donor faces and cites a survey of the middle and upper class showing that “gifts to charity” comes in last in terms of wealth priorities. Not that those surveyed are not charitable, they are, it’s simply that the challenges of modern life have caused donors to reevaluate and make charity a lower priority.

Charities, on the other hand, face their own set of challenges, including the need for funding. Major giving campaigns play a huge role in charities’ funding strategies.

“Major giving is focused on gifts of cash and securities,” says Scott Keffer, Founder and CEO of The Donor Motivation Program®, “these are the two assets that donors are most concerned about keeping and preserving because they are worrying about running out of money, inflation and the rising cost of health care, among others. Major giving programs, although vital to every charity, are by their nature charity-centric. They are focused on the needs of the charity and the charity receives most of the benefits. That’s why it is critical today that charities are also operating vibrant planned giving programs. Planned giving is the perfect complement, because it’s donor-centric – the needs of the donor are primary and they receive more of the benefits.”

Planned giving is win-win for the donor and charity, since planned giving plays a vital role in growing endowments. Research also shows that donors with a planned gift actually give a larger percentage of their income to charity than donors without a planned gift. Limited resources, both time and money, often hamper planned giving efforts and result in an “on again, off again” planned giving program.

In 1995, after interviewing planned giving professionals, Keffer created a planned giving presentation system designed to simplify the planned giving message and multiply the message to donors with limited resources. Thus was born The Donor Motivation Program®. Their mission is to show North America’s leading charities how to double the results of their planned giving efforts with limited investment. Charities access the program through a network of Donor Motivation Consultants. The Program spread to Canada in 2007, directed by the efforts of Keith Thomson, Director Of Canadian Operations.

Jack Miller, CFRE, the very first planned giving professional to engage the Program in 1996 with United Way, shares, “The first year with The Donor Motivation Program not only led to more than $1 million in gifts, but educated donors and their advisors about philanthropy in a new and exciting way where everyone was engaged. That’s why we renewed.”

Although Keffer points out that there are nine keys to a sustainable planned giving presentation program, the heart of the system is an entertaining donor-centric planned giving presentation entitled, “Income Tax Reduction and Estate Tax Elimination.”

The presentation has been seen by tens of thousands of donors across the United States and Canada. It is consistently rated “one of the best.”

“The presentation is consistently top rated because it is donor-centric. It presents planned giving concepts in simple, easy to understand language.” Keffer continues, “It doesn’t use confusing, technical jargon. It speaks donor. Donors find it fun and engaging. That’s why they come multiple times and bring their friends.”

Jon T. Trainor, retired Director of Development for Akron Museum and Akron General Hospital agrees, “After a quarter of a century in development, I’ve seen it all. The Donor Motivation Program is the best planned giving program I’ve seen. I was blown away. We were very successful in our very first year. I’d highly recommend it.”

About The Donor Motivation Program®
Since 1995, The Donor Motivation Program® and have used feedback from nonprofits and their donors to perfect a proactive planned giving presentation system that is the bridge between charities and their donors. Through The Donor Motivation Professionals of North America, a network of trained professionals, they show leading charities “how to double the results of their planned giving efforts.”

Media Contact
Company Name: The Donor Motivation Program
Contact Person: Sharon Dorbritz
Phone: 412-854-7860
Country: United States