Will, a gift planner, submitted this concept paper on THREE “SUPPLY-SIDE” CONCEPTS
TO PROMOTE PHILANTHROPY IN THE SARASOTA AREA. His cover note, cited with his permission, is below.
It was with great interest and excitement that I came across your Gift Hub this morning, when searching for Scott Fithian. After 20 years of high-level gift planning work on the nonprofit (demand) side, I was smitten with Paul Schervish's "supply side model" at the ELI Institute at Indiana University while completing the ACFRE designation. And I haven't looked back! For practical reasons, I do fundraising consulting now for smaller nonprofits that cannot afford my level of expertise full-time, but my growing passion is for philanthropic advising. I am working to create an SVP group here on the Florida Gulf Coast, because we have an abundance of wealth and untapped corporate (retired) skill and a dearth of capacity in local non-profits. Two related concepts (see attached concept(s) paper), for which I am seeking local foundation backing, are values-definition services for the wealthy before they begin work with estate planning professionals and philanthropy research services (definition of donor style and goals as well as investigation of the best nonprofit match) after the "charitable fund" is established. I know nonprofits from the inside, and I know where the pitfalls are in the gift-program planning and accountability process. In my view, there are presently yawning caverns at both the beginning and the end of the traditional estate planning process that paralyze genuine philanthropic intent. My ultimate goal is to create an SVP for Global Philanthropy and to provide charitable advising for Global Philanthropy. Before studying your website, I was beginning to think that I needed to take the Fithian course, and perhaps even drudge through the CFP to be most effective at advising. But I can now see that an experienced practitioner like myself, who has no business link to the traditional estate planning process, might in fact have a purer and more effective relationship with those standing at the estate planning abyss. What suggestions and contact referrals might you have for me? I very much enjoyed reading your poetic columns and hope to keep in touch with you and your associates.... With appreciation and all good wishes.
I am sure Will would welcome thoughts, suggestions, and comments from Funders, Active Citizens, or Advisors. It seems to me what Will is suggesting is very much like what we as a group are exploring here. Providing potential funders with a little "breathing room" to think through their own vision and values before moving into a process geared to legal work, financial work, or gifts to a specific institution. Also, to work with donors at the end of a planning process, after a charitable fund has been established, to put their gifts and grants to work with strategic effect.
A national nonprofit which had convened local planning teams, all over the country, might find that they could get more done, and done better, than by flying a planned giving officer out for a series of fugitive visits. Or, at least a network of local professionals could leverage those visits, and work the larger slower cases through to fruition, not just for the charity, but for the charitable. And that would not be a conflict of interest, but a good way to build considerate relationships and the gifts that ensue as part of a comprehensive, wisdom-driven process.
I believe such cordiality, championed by local advisors, will increase gifts, and made them more satisfying and effective than those that result from the standard planning routines and the standard nonprofit "Ask." Those of you who try it, please share your "news."