Planned Giving: Moving Beyond the Basics

Planned GivingUpdated (11/10/11, 7:06 a.m.)

Chat stats and transcript now available here.

For many nonprofits, planned giving is a check box on a return envelope, a “legacy” society, and if you are lucky, a regular printed newsletter. For many more organizations, having a planned giving program is an idea that is just too complicated to even consider.

If you’re looking to take the next step with your planned giving program, get one off the ground, or share your expertise with others, join the #fundchat community on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. EDT for “Planned Giving: Moving Beyond the Basics.”

On average, about 50 people participate in #fundchat each week. It’s community participation that leads to a successful chat. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Spread the word: tell your friends and colleagues about #fundchat. Share a link to the blog on your social networks. Ask a friend to sit with you over lunch during #fundchat so they can see what it’s all about.
  2. Suggest a question (or two): #fundchat is moderated by @brendankinney and he could really use your help dreaming up good questions for the chat. The moderator offers up questions every 10 minutes or so during #fundchat. Great questions lead to a great conversation. Dull questions, well…you get the idea. Please suggest a question or idea in the comments section of the blog.

If you have never participated in a #fundchat before, it’s easy. Check out our handy guidelines. Most participants like to use the web-based Twebevent.

Here are the questions for today’s chat:

  1. How did you start your PG program and if you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
  2. Who took a leadership role in championing PG in your organization?
  3. If you’re the only fundraiser, how do you manage PG with so many things on your plate?
  4. How do you identify PG prospects?
  5. How do you track PG intentions?
  6. Do you ever use Planned Giving to inspire current giving?

We had so many suggestions for questions, we created a Planned Giving survey. Take it now –

Many thanks to @FundraiserBeth, @mcahalane, @lpdiversa for providing the inspiration for this week’s #fundchat!


#fundchat Webinar – Young Professionals: Cultivating the Next Generation of Donors

View the webinar slide deck: click here.

Why Young Professionals Join#fundchat Transcript Now Available: Young Professionals: Cultivating the Next Generation of Donors

We are extremely pleased to announce the inaugural #fundchat webinar, titled “Young Professionals: Cultivating the Next Generation of Donors.”

Join the #fundchat community and Layne Gray, founder of Vivanista, on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 4 p.m. EDT for a presentation and a tweetchat (of course!) about this incredibly pertinent topic.

Gen Y (millenials, twentysomethings, etc.) are just starting out in their careers, rarely own their own home and surely don’t have a charitable remainder trust. So why should nonprofits spend valuable time cultivating them? If you cultivate a community of passionate young professionals today, the next generation of donors will already embrace your mission and cause. But how to do it successfully is both art and science.

This webinar will address the following issues:

  • Why Gen Y join Young Professional organizations
  • How to create and sustain a YP organization for a nonprofit
  • How to structure the organization and events
  • Philanthropic drivers and strategies that speak to Gen Y

Here’s how to participate in the very first #fundchat webinar:

  1. Register for the webinar on GoToWebinar – click here to register.
  2. Tune in to the webinar at the appointed time using the instructions (check your registration confirmation email). You can listen to the presentation through your computer or via a special conference call number.
  3. Finally, fire up Twebevent (or your favorite Twitter client) so you can discuss the presentation as-it-happens with the #fundchat community. Brendan Kinney will moderate the chat and seek input on the Q&A session via #fundchLayne Gray is the founder of VIvanistaat. If you are a #fundchat newbie, you can find out how to participate in a tweetchat here.

Layne Gray is a professional fundraiser who has raised millions of dollars for various charities. She has consulted with organizations to develop different types of volunteer groups, including young professionals, philanthro-teens, and women’s auxiliaries. She also designs fundraising campaigns that integrate in-person events with on-line tools.  Learn more about Layne and her firm, Vivanista.

If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to contact #fundchat moderator Brendan Kinney via Twitter or Email.

Round-up of Questions by the #fundchat Community about CFRE

What's Your Question?We feature our #fundchat community (again) this week, in the fact that they supplied the questions for this week’s topic: To CFRE or not to CFRE, That is the Question.”

I think it will be an engaging conversation about the benefits of CFRE, continuing education and professional development. You can see our earlier post about the genesis for the topic.

Oftentimes, #fundchat participants like to review the questions before the chat, so they can mull over their responses. To participate, go to our Twebevent page at 9 pm EDT on Wednesday, August 24. You can also follow the hashtag (#fundchat) using your favorite Twitter client.

Here are tonight’s questions (please follow our awesome #fundchatters who suggested these questions!):

Submitted by @lpdiversa:

1. Have CFRE noticed a salary increase after certifying?

2. What other benefits (if any) have you noticed after certifying?

Submitted by @rjbvermont:

3. For CFREs: Did you learn anything in addition to — or more quickly than — what you would have learned through more experience as a practicing professional?

4. For development leaders: What does “CFRE” on resume’ mean to you?

Submitted by @pathammavong:

5. How soon should I write the CFRE? I have hit the five year mark and am wondering when I should do it!

Submitted by @kathyhowrigan:

6. If you haven’t done the CFRE, why not?

7. When you learn that another professional has their CFRE, does that change your perception of them?

8. What is involved with getting your CFRE? If you’ve done it, was it difficult?

9. What other fundraising certifications are out there and do they add value?

The order of these questions may differ slightly from how they are presented here to help with the flow of the conversation.

Should be a great #fundchat!

– Brendan (@brendankinney)

8/24 #fundchat: “To CFRE, or not to CFRE, that is the Question”

Getting certifiedMany professional fundraisers seek out CFRE certification as a way to increase their credibility, knowledge and their marketability in the nonprofit world. Learn more about CFRE International here.

Are you contemplating CFRE certification? Or have you already received certification? We want to hear from both of you during this week’s #fundchat.

But first, we need your ideas for questions. What are your questions about the process and the value of certification? If you are already certified, what questions do you wish you had asked before taking the plunge? What about continuing education and professional development in general?

Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. Then “tune-in” for the #fundchat Twitter chat on Wednesday, August 24 at 9 pm EST. The members of the #fundchat community will respond to your questions and share their thoughts on the topic.

You are invited to join the conversation too! To learn more about how to participate in #fundchat, take a few minutes to learn the ropes and review our guidelines. Use your favorite Twitter client to follow the #fundchat hashtag, or use Twebevent.

Ask and You Shall Receive…Future #fundchat Topics Galore!

Cast your vote for the next #fundchat topic (poll ends Monday morning.)

Moderating a Twitter chat can be a daunting experience. Mostly, it comes down to choosing the topics. Week after week, how can one person come up with interesting topics to entice friends and followers to give up a precious hour on a Wednesday evening?

As I learned last week, the answer is simple: Just ask.

Ideas!Toward the end of last week’s #fundchat, I asked folks if they could provide me with ideas for future topics. There was a giant pause amid some early “g’nights” from worn-out #fundchatters.

And then the spigot blew open:

  • Forget the best! What are the worst practices in fundraising and development?
  • Professional development/training for fundraisers: who goes, how much, best opportunities?
  • Universal principles for fundraising, regardless of your “industry.”
  • To CFRE or not to CFRE, that is the question.
  • Playing Defense: Play smart when fending off an attack on your organization.
  • Planned Giving do’s and don’t.
  • Ethics in fundraising: dealing with shades of gray.
  • Best practices for annual fund campaigns.
  • Successes and failures in using non-direct donation platforms (e.g. Gividend, Ideal Network, Global Mojo, etc.)
  • The negotiation: how much should fundraisers make?
  • Weathering the storm: navigating philanthropy during the recession.

In the course of 10 minutes and 20 tweets, I had enough ideas to keep #fundchat rolling for the next 3 months! The power of community is amazing. The experience also reminded this chat moderator that you are never alone; if you’ve gained trust with your community, they will rush to your rescue.

So in this spirit of community, I’m asking #fundchatters to pick their favorite topic for next week’s #fundchat. Cast your vote now – the poll ends Monday morning!

– Brendan (@brendankinney)

Measuring the Impact of #fundchat with

As I’ve mentioned previously, the most challenging aspect of moderating a Twitter chat is finding a way to capture and share transcripts.

For awhile, I tried using Storify. I used it to create “curated transcripts,” having to go back and pick individual tweets from the conversation and save them into a new “stream.” You can go back and read the transcripts, which covered issues like major giving, policy, direct mail, career networking and more. Storif is a great service, but not for transcripts.

Hastracking LogoI searched high and low, and finally was referred to After a couple of emails asking (okay, begging) for a beta invite and a couple of shout outs on Twitter, I was offered a trial subscription.

Hashtracking not only provides you with a transcript from a specific time  period, but loads of stats that demonstrate the reach and impact of your Twitter chat. Because the report is generated in real-time, you can monitor activity during the chat itself – which is helpful for a moderator to see how things are going compared to previous chats.Stats include: number of tweets, contributors, impressions and reach. In addition, you get a list of those who participated (by Twitter handle) and detailed stats about their reach and impressions, sort of a “leaderboard” of the chat. The analysis also provides you with a timeline to show activity over the time period and the level of engagement as defined by tweets by a core group of “top 10” contributors compared to the rest.

And then, of course, there’s the transcript. The best part about the transcript is that it captures the chat in real-time. So when the hour of #fundchat is over, the transcript is available and ready to go. The one “drawback” is that my first two reports with cover a 24 hour period. This is nice in that it captures the pre-chat and post-chat conversation and promotion, but you have to dig a bit if you are just looking for the one hour of the actual Twitter chat. This is a minor point, but it would be great to search within the report by hour and have the stats reflect that particular activity. Another helpful feature would be to compare reports. As a Twitter chat moderator, it would be great to have a dashboard that compared stats from a timeline of chats to see what topics resonated with the most people and more.

I encourage you to check out the transcripts (links bel0w). These are great resources for those who weren’t able to participate in the chat and for those who did to go back and refresh your memory about specific nuggets of wisdom or shared links. Check them out and please feel free to share them with your colleagues.

  • August 10, Volunteer Recruitment & Management | Transcript
  • August 17, Navigating Nonprofit-Corporate Partnerships | Transcript

Are Twitter chat transcripts helpful for you? What do you think of’s service? What other tools have you found for measuring impact and recording transcripts? Share your feedback and ideas in the comments below.

Review #fundchat Questions About Volunteer Recruitment & Management

Update: View the transcript from the 8/10 #fundchat here.

Volunteer recruitment and management is a key issue for many nonprofits. There’s a struggle between wanting to involve volunteers (and by extension, the community) and figuring out how to effectively manage volunteers on a day-to-day basis. There’s no doubt that volunteers are essential but how do nonprofits make the most of their time and its own limited resources?

This Wednesday, August 10 at 9 pm EST, the #fundchat community will tangle with this issue by addressing the questions below. In the meantime, take this quick survey about the impact of volunteers on your nonprofit organization.

  1. What are best practices for an effective volunteer orientation session or program?
  2. How do you tactfully yet effectively ask volunteers to also support the organization financially?
  3. How do you integrate new volunteers in the team?
  4. To what extent should volunteers inform strategy/direction/strategic plan vs implementing organizational directives?
  5. How should you handle a difficult volunteer?
  6. How do you “fire” a volunteer and/or deal with turnover?
  7. Typically, an organization has a staff member coordinates volunteers across the organization or departments handle it on their own. Benefits of each approach?
  8. How does your organization reward and/or recognize volunteers and their efforts?

Many thanks to @nathan_hand, @lpdiversa, @chrissachrissa, and @kathyhowrigan for suggesting many of the questions for this week’s #fundchat.

If you would like to participate in the conversation, please tune-in just before the appointed time using Twebevent or follow the hashtag using your favorite Twitter client.

Are you a newbie to Twitter chats? No problem. Just check out our guidelines and tips and join the conversation!