Major and Planned Gifts: How to Engage Professionals on Their Own Terms
The agenda for the 2014 day, which was held on Sept. 16, included a registration and welcome, three major educational sessions, lunch, and a wrap-up question-and-answer session. Most professionals arrived for coffee at 9:30 a.m. and left for the day at 4:30 p.m. The speakers for the program were Ann B. Burns, principal at the Gray Plant Mooty law firm, and Samuel A. Donaldson, a law professor at Georgia State University.
During daylong brief breaks, the 372 Indiana registrants learned about The Salvation Army Indiana Division and the impact planned gifts have made to help those in our community. The professionals who participated in the day received continuing education credits and a binder filled with "take home" information. Each person was warmly greeted, and every effort was made to engage attendees on a one-on-one basis before the event began. A large number had attended the 2013 event and said they looked forward to attending the event each year. Most professionals received five or six CE credits depending upon their field of study requirements.
What are the major benefits of sponsoring this type of webcast production? It allows you to:
- Provide continuing education benefits
- Get to know an array of professionals on a one-on-one basis
- Provide take home information to professionals
- Create an email or mail list of contacts
- Have professionals meet statewide leadership and planned-giving staff
- Obtain feedback from professionals regarding their clients
- Establish a "best of class" program that leads to greater planned and major gifts
We do not wait for another year to pass to contact a number of these attendees. The webcast gives our staff a great platform to make follow-up appointments.
I encourage you to consider some type of continuing education credit method to engage your professionals. Start with a creation of a local professional list representing several areas of expertise, and follow it up with a survey. Who knows where it will lead. One thing is for certain: You will engage these professionals on their terms, and they will appreciate the effort.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.