In The News... | Sharpe Group
Posted October 1st, 1997

In The News…

Good advice makes a difference

Most people wonder from time to time if the job they do really makes a difference in people’s lives. This may be especially true of gift planning professionals who strive to help donors achieve their personal and charitable goals. According to a recent survey, gift planning professionals do make a difference in people’s lives, one that could affect how donors will give in the future.

Conducted by Prince and Associates for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a recent survey questioned wealthy donors about their experiences with financial advisors and nonprofit development executives during the process of planning major gifts. The donors who participated in the survey had each made at least one planned gift of $75,000 or more.

Of those who had a positive experience with professional advisors, 81% of donors surveyed said they would make another planned gift and 88% would recommend such gifts to their peers. On the other hand, of donors who felt they were not given good advice from professional advisors, only two percent would consider another planned gift!

Donors also expected good advice from planned giving officers employed by charities. Of donors who had a positive experience with planned giving officers, 94% would recommend planned gifts to their peers and an overwhelming 100% would suggest that friends support the same charity.

But when it comes to knowledge of the technical details of making a planned gift, donors expected more from professional advisors. Only 16% of those surveyed thought that planned giving officers needed extensive technical expertise, while 98% expected their financial advisors to be skilled in executing planned gifts.

What does this survey mean to gift planning professionals? The bad news is donors who are not happy with advisors may stop giving altogether. The good news, however, is planned giving officers and professional advisors can have a strong positive impact on donors’ giving. The findings reveal that donors, when properly advised, have a propensity to give again and become advocates for the organizations they support.

Complete results of this survey and other research is included in The Charitable Giving Handbook. Call 1-800- 423-2288 for more information.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy, August 7, 1997

Secretary bequeaths $18 million to help children

No one ever dreamed that Gladys Holm, a retired secretary, had $18 million dollars. But this woman who never earned more than $15,000 a year left $18 million to the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Holm, a volunteer at the hospital, sometimes eluded to “having something” for the hospital in her will. Holm accumulated her wealth by investing small but consistent sums of money in the stock market over the years. Holm’s former boss often advised her to invest her excess earnings in stocks, which she did. She also lived modestly in a two-bedroom townhouse in a Chicago suburb.

Source: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, August 1, 1997

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