Marjorie's Success Beyond her Lifetime - Donor Stewardship

By Peter Chipman BBA, CFRE


View all articles by this author

Almost 10 years ago when I started with my charity in a professional capacity, I made my first ‘donor stewardship’ call to a woman who had donated $150, her usual annual donation. I called her just to say ‘thank you’ and introduce myself. Well, that was the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

On the phone she told me something like “that’s so nice of you to do that. No one has ever called me to say thank you before. What a nice surprise. What did you say your name was again?” I also sent her a Christmas card that year.

The following year she donated over $1,000 and of course I promptly called her to say thank you again. At this donor level she would also receive an appreciation certificate so I arranged for a visit with her, out in the Fraser valley. I learned she was single, no children and retired, loved children and had watched our telethon forever, didn’t like all the mail we sent her and once a year would be quite enough, thank you very much!

During our meeting I wondered out loud if she had ever considered leaving a gift in her Will to some of her favourite charities (hopefully including us). She said “Don’t you worry Mr. Chipman I’ve gone to my notary and have left a little something in my Will to three of my favourite charities, including yours.”

Each year thereafter she returned to her annual gift amount of $150 and each year I called to thank her and made one more call just to say hello and let her know how we were doing in our mission. I sent a Christmas card every year too.

Last year my Christmas card was returned and her telephone was out of service. Oh! oh! And shortly after I received a call from the executor who sent the usual probate documents and copy of her Will. I was sad that I would no longer be able to share our conversations about helping children but sure enough there were 3 charities in her Will, 2 small specific legacies and a residual bequest for everything else. That was us!

Most grateful and delighted we were when we received a cheque for over $700,000, so I could only think back to our first conversation where she said “No one has ever called me to say thank you before. What a nice surprise.” And she is helping so many children with that bequest, even beyond her lifetime.

Peter Chipman BBA, CFRE

Director Planned Giving/Major Gifts for Variety – The Children’s Charity of BC

This article has been viewed 1810 times.


Comments

Showing 1 to 1 of 1 comments.

You are so awesome for helping me solve this mysrtey.

Posted by Latricia | July 22, 2011 Report Violation

Post A Comment





  • security key

Comments that include profanity, personal attacks, or antisocial behavior such as "spamming," "trolling," or any other inappropriate material will be removed from the site. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our "terms of use". You are fully responsible for the content you post. Senior Living takes no responsibility for the views and opinions of members using this discussion area.

Submit Articles

Current Issue

Search For Articles

  

Subscribe To
The Magazine