Drakes Bay Fundraising
A Next Generation Fundraising Company

A Most Unusual Gift

Posted by Christopher Dann
Monday November 11, 2013
Categories: Fundraising, Planned Giving
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The most unusual gift I ever experienced — unusual in both curiosity and value — arrived at The Nature Conservancy the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 1972. It was in response to a new donor prospecting campaign. It was a diamond engagement ring, mailed in the campaign’s remittance envelope but with no identification of the donor.

While nothing like that is likely to happen, gifts of extraordinary size from new donors, in cash or securities, are likely at this time of year, more so than any other time.  At other times of year, prospecting is mostly a two-way street, with donors trying out organizations looking to enroll them.  In the fall, there are donors more ready to engage at what are for them normal levels of giving to favored organizations

Seasoned fundraisers know that there are actually three kinds of planned gifts. The oldest kind are annual gifts planned by extraordinary donors in the forth calendar quarter of the year. The next oldest kind are those planned in connection with estate planning. And the third and newest kind are those made to donor advised funds in connection with plans — often not yet made — for future distribution.

Most often those planned extraordinary annual gifts come from active donors of record. But solid, persuasive case making in prospecting mail or online can produce gifts whose donors warrant special attention.

We never learned who sent The Nature Conservancy that ring, and weren’t supposed to. We imagined, as I’m sure you would, that it came from a spurned fiancée who clearly favored the Conservancy as the means of achieving sweet revenge.  Great good was accomplished on her behalf and in her honor.

One Response to “A Most Unusual Gift”

  1. November 20th, 2013 at 1:54 pm
    By Ann Maier

    …or his!

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Next Generation Fundraising and Drakes Bay Fundraising merged in the fall of 2013, bringing the longstanding professional acquaintances of their four principals – Tim Oleary, Carol Leister, Cindy Germain, and Christopher Dann – into a single company and combining the special resources and experiences of each to provide clients greater breadth and depth of service.

For more information about Next Generation Fundraising, click here.