Symbiotic Philanthropy

Thursday, June 09, 2011 11:12
Symbiotic Philanthropy

Tags: legacy | planning | values

Helping your local charities can be emotionally and financially rewarding for them and you.

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Lending a helping hand to local charities might just be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done. If your approach is genuine and your strategy is right you can provide value to the organization and obtain new clientele. It is imperative, however, that you are in-fact sincerely interested in helping and that you develop and execute a proper sales process.
Before you even consider getting involved in working with nonprofit organizations you must ask yourself whether or not you would do so without compensation. If the answer is no then don’t even pursue this idea. Passion is a perquisite for this sales idea. First and foremost you must be sincerely interested in helping the nonprofit organization meet their goals.
Presuming you pass the “passion test” the next step is to speak with the Director of Planned Giving. Take them out to breakfast or lunch and talk with them about their initiatives and goals. Let me repeat that. Talk about them and their goals. Put their interest ahead of yours. In the first meeting or two you should not speak about yourself at all. In fact, if they ask anything about you, gently redirect the conversation so that it remains focused on them. Your time to talk about yourself will come down the road.
Once they feel confident that you are sincerely putting their interest ahead of yours, you can begin to discuss the idea of helping them raise more money. More specifically, speak with them about an idea you have that will help motivate their existing donors to give more. And immediately exclaim that you don’t intend to do so by providing the typical presentation on estate planning techniques or life insurance. They are most likely inundated with such proposals and are rightfully skeptical. The donors are also not interested in another product/service pitch seminar.
Tell them you will speak from a place of motivation and inspiration. You’ll speak to the donors not about how they will avoid taxes but rather how they can leave a meaningful mark on the world. How they can redirect their efforts and resources in such a way that they will always be remembered for their contributions to the world. This is exactly what I did for my local United Way Chapter and it was a huge success. The only question they had for me is whether or not I was available in September for another presentation. Apparently the attendees were pleased with the unique and sincere approach and felt educated in a way they have never experienced.
Leo Pusateri, a well known expert in the financial services business (and a good friend of mine), has a great expression. He says “good business is first a meeting of the hearts and secondly a meeting of the minds.” Finding a local charity that you wish to support, learning about what their needs are then finding a way that will support them while simultaneously giving you the opportunity to advance your business is certainly a good example of this. So follow your heart, listen to others and find a way that you can contribute your talent. Ultimately, it will support a wonderful cause and open up opportunities for you to meet new people in your community. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, you’ll be meeting new people that are wealthy, share a similar passion and could benefit from your professional guidance.


Comments (1)

There was a prominent advisor in our community, who has since passed away, who made this the hallmark of his practice. He made it his mission to find organizations worthy of support, and to attract wealthy people to their cause. He did not offer any information on what he did. Of course, he would frequently be asked by those donors about what he did, and when it came time that the donors needed those financial services, he was someone they naturally thought of. I was great for the charities, and made him one of the most successful insurance agents in the market.
stephenw585 , June 10, 2011

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