Lead.“We have so many planned giving leads – there’s no way I can get to them all.” This is an actual quote from one of many planned giving officers all over the country who are struggling to qualify leads after sending out some kind of lead generation device.
This is happening everywhere.
Many PGOs that I’ve talked to have told me horror stories of either returned surveys that donors have filled out and sent back to a non-profit, or an inbox full of donor responses of planned giving leads that are sitting there with no one following up.
Moreover, when we’ve talked to companies that specialize in generating these leads, they tell us THEY are frustrated too, because no one is getting back to these donors!
Because we’ve left the function of qualifying donors to highly paid PGOs. And if the PGO is doing their job correctly, they’re out meeting with donors helping guide them through some sort of planned giving commitment or stewarding that donor.
That leaves the PGO with very little time to follow up on leads and qualify them.
This means that leads are stuck in an inbox or in the corner of the mailroom gathering dust, and potentially millions of dollars are never realized because you haven’t allocated your human resources correctly.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
At Veritus, we believe the function of qualifying leads should be done by what we call a planned giving associate. The associate’s job is to take leads and qualify the donor and pass them on to a planned giving officer, who then either talks with the donor during a time that the associate has set up already (or she sets it up herself).
This is a critical function. Not every response from a lead generation device comes from a qualified donor. Just like major gifts, most are not qualified.
So why would you have a planned giving officer chase it down, when they could be having productive discussions with donors who actually have a desire to make some type of planned gift?
You wouldn’t.
If your organization is small, and/or you have such few donors that you have to combine this effort with your planned giving officer, this may not be reasonable. And if that’s the case, you have to be very structured to make sure that every lead goes through a qualifying call or meeting.
Imagine if someone asked you to fill out a survey to know how you felt about an organization that you love, and you spent some of your time thoughtfully answering those questions, knowing that it would be helpful to them. Then later, you found out that the answers you provided were lying in the corner of someone’s office gathering dust, unread.
How would that make you feel?
Pretty worthless. Yet in non-profit organizations all over, this is exactly what’s happening.
You owe it to your donors, to your staff, and to the mission of your organization to properly staff your planned giving program so that every donor is appropriately followed up on and allowed the opportunity to make a legacy gift. (Tweet it!)
PS — If you want to find out more about Veritus Group’s approach to planned giving and how we may be able to help you, click here. We can start with a Free Assessment!