Paddling Ducks and Napping Turtles | Sharpe Group
Posted February 6th, 2024

Paddling Ducks and Napping Turtles

Duck and turtle swimming together.The window of my home office overlooks a beautiful natural pond filled with ducks and turtles. While the water appears calm and lovely most days, and the ducks are gently swimming back and forth, I cannot help but think about the chaos of their flippers underneath, propelling them from one side of the pond to another.

For some reason, watching the ducks swim reminds me of what it’s like to be a development director in a small shop (yes, that is how my brain works). Getting tasks completed but never really feeling ahead of things. Inheriting responsibilities that have nothing to do with fundraising. Spending the day without speaking with one donor. In this continuous cycle of paddling furiously to stay ahead, where does planned giving fall on the task list?

In my role as a consultant, I encourage my clients to incorporate planned giving into their overall program. I remind them that even one hour a week can be effective; one e-blast a month may result in a phone call; one article in their newsletter can yield a new commitment.

Research shows that the addition of a planned giving program increases both annual and major gifts. The key to success is making planned giving a priority. Set aside a block of time each week where you remain undisturbed and can formulate a doable plan.

Like that turtle that settles down on a log for a nap in the sun, find your quiet spot and work to build those relationships to secure your next planned gift.


Sharpe Group Consultant Julie SchuldnerJulie Schuldner, MBA, CFRE, is a Sharpe Group senior consultant. You can connect with Julie at or via LinkedIn.



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