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Why Give?
Source: Financial Planning  ·  December 1, 2011  ·  Excerpt

When planners help clients manage their wealth, it is important to help them recognize the deep emotional sources of philanthropy. Hundreds of interviews over the years with philanthropists have led me to the notion of empathy and identifying with others as the key motives behind giving. Ask donors about an important gift and you will hear that the people they help are like themselves, their children, parents or other loved ones. We care for others as extensions of ourselves.

A day usually comes in your clients' lives when acquiring more wealth ceases to be so important. They then face the question of how to live next and impart to their children a moral biography. Most will want to give because giving is a natural source of happiness.

People always tell us they "want to give back." They speak about how they were helped in life and often remember teachers and others who formed them. We have all received gifts. People who give back recognize twists in their life stories as grace or luck. They notice unmerited, unearned and unpredictable interventions in their life.

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Our take
Knowing what drives a person to give—regardless of whether it's a gift of money, time or talent—is a cornerstone of every healthy donor relationship. As the article above notes, there are countless circumstances in a person's life that can make them more (or less) receptive to your organization's message and mission. At Compass Pointe, we specialize in building relationships founded on just that type of consistent, personal interaction and trust.

Contact us now for assistance answering these and other questions:

  • What are the best ways to learn more about donors and other prospective constituents in my community?
  • How can I track and utilize the personal information and relationships my organization has fostered in the past? How can we 'connect the dots' and realize new opportunities?


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