Parables and Profiles for Rethinking your Philanthropy Coming Feb. 17, 2016 to Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York [PPGGNY]

Posted on December 17th, 2015

Parables and Profiles
Can just 4 donors hold the key to
rethinking your philanthropy?
Coming up Feb. 17, 2016
Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York [PPGGNY]
4 Donors: Can just 4 donors hold the key to rethinking your philanthropy?
Take the personalized philanthropy challenge
Interactively exploring profiles of just four donors with Steve Meyers will challenge you, first to see and then to crash your fundraising matrix. See how personalized philanthropy can help you make the shift to real donor-focused giving. You will take away:
  • A new working definition of philanthropy that will reshape your relationship with donors
  • A radical rethinking of endowment that will make you rethink your role as a gift planner
  • Three Killer apps - specific new gift strategies you can start using right now that can change your gift planning practice forever
If something about the Development Office just feels a bit off, it’s time to crash your matrix. Here’s a beginning to restore creativity and bring new impact to your gift planning practice.

Rebecca Rothey’s Review of Personalized Philanthropy in Planned Giving Today ... Crashes the Matrix

Posted on November 5th, 2015

"Meyers encourages us to push ourselves, to own our practice, and to personalize it."
"I believe that to be successful, we fundraisers must find our own language for communicating with donors within the context and confines of the institutions we represent. To learn to do that requires that we engage in sometimes scary, often messy (as the book’s author emphasizes) conversations that push the limits — not only what donors are willing to consider, but how much we are willing to explore all possibilities with them."
Download Rebecca’s full review here
About the reviewer, Rebecca Rothey.
Rebecca Rothey, CFRE, CAP® is Johns Hopkins University and Medicine’s director of gift planning and senior philanthropic advisor. Rothey graduated summa cum laude from the Notre Dame of Maryland University. She is past president of the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council, on the boards of Creative Alliance and Baltimore Estate Planning Council, and a member of the Editorial Board of Planned Giving Today.

Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix

Listen Up! Secrets of Personalized Philanthropy Broadcast with Nonprofit Coach,Ted Hart.

Posted on September 30th, 2015

You can listen to the broadcast right here
Ted Hart lectures around the world but now is here for you. From the latest in charity news, technology, fundraising and social networking, Ted Hart and his guests help you maneuver to greater levels of efficiency and fundraising success.
PAGE 2 GUEST EXPERT: Steven L. Meyers, Ph.D., is Vice President of the Center for Personalized Philanthropy at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Steve is a primary developer of personalized philanthropy, based on his mantra of "the right gift, for the right purpose, for the right donor." Steve’s innovative donor-focused gift designs, especially a series of arrangements he calls "killer apps," combine the full spectrum of current and future gifts so that donors can create a lasting legacy where impact and recognition are able to start up right away.

Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix

Personalized Philanthropy and the Four Donors: Parables for Radically Rethinking Your Philanthropy

Posted on September 24th, 2015

Note: This series on personalized philanthropy from the donor’s perspective has previously been posted only as individual articles. For convenience, the full series is available here as a PDF, as well as through the PGDC website. slm

We are pleased to introduce this series of six articles as a companion to the book by Steven L Meyers, Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix and Make the Real Shift to Donor-Focused Giving. While that book was written primarily for gift officers and professional advisors, these articles are written for advisors to share with donors – hopefully to begin a new conversation about philanthropy with clients/donors who ardently wish to support their most treasured charities. The articles aim to introduce some of the basic concepts of Personalized Philanthropy, a powerful new and tested model for charitable planning which challenges conventional fundraising practices in bridging current and future giving so that donor impact and recognition may begin immediately and scale up over time.
  • For donors, there is special access to new insights in charitable giving. Enlightened gift officers and their organization's most committed supporters are beginning to explore these techniques together, and with some very good outcomes.
  • For professional advisors, at first blush, Personalized Philanthropy presents a dilemma: it offers a solution to a problem that many of us don’t know we have.
The "killer apps" and "umbrella" gift designs described enable donors to enjoy immediate recognition and impact of their philanthropy -- benefits largely deferred or denied in our traditional financial and estate techniques, simply because the trusts and other vehicles that power them, with some exceptions, are not effective philanthropically until the death of the client.
It often happens that because we don't see the potential opportunity of gifts with immediate impact and recognition, we can't even begin to talk about them. Maybe we will now.
To read The Four Donors articles on the PGDC Website, click here.
To download the full series, click the PDF below.
Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix

In case you missed it: AFP’s Fundraising Day in NYC, June 12, 2015

Posted on September 19th, 2015

Attended by more than 1,800 people, this year’s event was the most comprehensive in its history—featuring two education-focused breakfasts, four sessions of fundraising programs on nine tracks, as well as a series of interactive workshops held throughout the day. Attendees had the opportunity to network with colleagues and explore the services offered by more than fifty exhibitors in the Solutions Center as well as sign up for mentoring sessions in a special section set aside for personalized resume review and career coaching. In addition to the special CFRE track, newcomers to the field were offered the opportunity to earn a Fundamentals in Fundraising Certificate in just one day. The three programs described below are just a sampling of the wealth of wisdom and information shared at this premier fundraising conference dedicated to the passion and enthusiasm of those very special people who have chosen fundraising as their life’s work.


Personalized Philanthropy: Crash Your Fundraising Matrix
And Make a Real Shift to Donor-Focused Giving
"Philanthropy that focuses on donor interests is a rarity!"

Steven L. Meyers, Ph.D. Vice President, Center of Personalized Philanthropy,
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science

In this compelling program, Steven Meyers, Ph.D. challenges his audience to recognize that their meticulously organized fundraising initiatives often ignore personal donor interests. He points specifically to deferred gift instruments such as bequests and trusts which marginalize donors by placing them outside the traditional "major donor clubs" enjoyed by cash contributors. In order to bring donors closer to the impact of their gifts, Steve has created three Personalized Gift Designs.

Virtual Endowment – this instrument encourages a donor to support a scholarship or program long before he/she may be capable of making a substantial gift. The donor agrees to underwrite the cost of a program that ignites their passion through an annual gift over a specified number of years—with a pledge for a future gift (often a bequest or trust) to endow the program in perpetuity.

Philanthropic Mortgage – with this vehicle the donor makes an annual gift "over and above" the yearly costs of a program he/she is supporting—with the surplus used to build an endowment designed to sustain the program permanently. One can think of the Philanthropic Mortgage as a pledge to be paid out over time, with a portion of the gift used to support the expenses of the program until the endowment is fully funded.

Step-Up Gifts – gifts of this type allow the donor to fund an endowment or chair at different levels over time. For instance an endowment can initially be funded as a "Masters Scholarship" at the $100,000 level with the opportunity for the donor to gradually add to the fund, moving it to a "Doctoral Scholarship" at the $250,000 level, and possibly a "Professorial Chair" at $1 million.

Each of these "Killer Apps", as Steve refers to them, engages the donor through their interests, and, at the same time, allows them to envision future giving in the form of large outright or planned gifts. At the same time, the donor can join the prestigious ranks of the major contributors of the institution as opposed to having his or her planned gift relegated to the hinterland of a Legacy Society.

Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix

Project-Funding Leverages Capacity for Good

Posted on September 17th, 2015

Advisors can use assets under management [AUM] in a novel way with special gift designs ("killer apps") that keep investments growing while enabling philanthropic impact and recognition to begin immediately, during donors’ lifetimes, and scale up over time.
Here’s how to elevate your social action and leverage your capacity for Good
Unlike many other organizations that seek primarily unrestricted general funds, the Weizmann Institute encourages restrictions so that donors can connect with what’s most compelling to them. Project-based fundraising, part of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute’s Care Share Repair initiative, puts donors in charge. See how you and generous clients can align their money with their passions and easily support one of 12 life-changing Weizmann research projects, from cancer research to science education to robotics.

See the complete article here.

Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix

Why Financial Advisors Cannot Ignore Clients’ Philanthropic Goals - Part Two

Posted on August 3rd, 2015

Elite Advisor Report with Tim Belber, Phil Cubeta, Randy Fox, me and John A Warnick.
As we discussed in Part One, purposeful philanthropy is the art of thoughtfully, intentionally and purposefully integrating the passion, spirit and commitment of philanthropy into the fabric of our family system. With record numbers of boomers reaching retirement age and a new generation of younger people looking to make gifts with social impact, the landscape of philanthropy has changed dramatically. Are you and your team keeping up with client wishes?
Key Takeaways:
Corporate tax deductions for giving are limited. This is part of the reason for lower giving rates. But corporate social responsibility is on the rise. Savvy advisors are tapping into that.
Making giving into a family activity can also be helpful in preparing heirs for the responsible use of wealth.
Too many advisors overlook the key to unleashing a client’s generosity (and satisfaction with you)—understanding the client’s values and interests, and the joy that giving provides him or her

READER NOTE: Many of the contributors to this discussion will be presenting at the Purposeful Planning Institute’s Annual Rendezvous, August 5-7, 2015, in Broomfield, Colorado.

Why Financial Advisors Cannot Ignore Clients’ Philanthropic Goals - Part One

Posted on July 25th, 2015

A roundtable interview in the good company of Tim Belber, Phil Cubeta, Randy Fox, me and John A Warnick.
Key Takeaways:
  • As record numbers of boomers approach retirement age, their focus shifts to distribution of assets rather than accumulating wealth. Are your clients’ heirs prepared to receive it
  • Affluent millennials look for ways to have impact rather than just give away dollars
  • If you try to profit from the generosity of others, you are likely to fail. However, if you want to leverage your talents as an advisor by working with those who are generous, then you can become a magnet for some of the best, wealthiest and best-connected people in your community.
  • The most effective philanthropy needs to be driven not by balance but by three things: head, heart and mind.
READER NOTE: Many of the contributors to this discussion will be presenting at the Purposeful Planning Institute’s Annual Rendezvous, August 5-7, 2015, in Broomfield, Colorado.

Steve Leimberg on Personalized Philanthropy and the Killer Apps

Posted on June 14th, 2015

Steve Leimberg on Personalized Philanthropy
About the Author - Steve Leimberg
Stephan R. Leimberg is CEO of Leimberg and LeClair, Inc., an estate and financial planning software company, President of Leimberg Associates, Inc., a publishing and software company in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and Publisher of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI )which provides e-mail based news, opinion, and information for tax professionals.
Review originally appeared in LISI Charitable Planning Newsletter (June, 2015) at Copyright 2015 Leimberg Information Services, Inc.
The author of this groundbreaking book, Steven L. Meyers, PhD, is vice president of The Center for Personalized Philanthropy at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. His book Personalized Philanthropy, may well revolutionize the way charities raise large amounts of money in the future. His outside-the-box mind makes possible the previously un-imagined.

I usually bend over a page in a book when I want to come back to (or steal) an idea or concept. When I finished reading this book, almost every page was bent over – most with X’s to high light concepts I wanted to share with others.

Let me put it another way:
As I was growing up, my father repeatedly gave me lessons and told me stories that he hoped I’d learn from. Many times, he said to me,
"Only a fool learns from his own mistakes" and followed that with...
"A wise man learns from the mistakes of others!" One day he told me of "The Smartest Man in the World."
"It wasn’t the man who created the cash box nor the man who invented the adding machine.
It was the man who put them both together and called it the cash register!

It got me thinking about the new suitcase I own. How long was it that we moved clothing we were taking on a trip in a trunk and it took two people to grab it by the corners? And then, someone added leather handles. And years later, someone else added two wheels and an expandable handle and called it a suitcase (must have been an inventor attorney – the same person who invented the brief case). And then someone added four wheels! And I always wondered, why did it take so long to make these improvements and why were we so oblivious to what could be a blindingly simple, workable, and elegant solution?

Steven Meyers takes readers interested in innovative philanthropy through this same thought process – shaking us and making us ask – over and over again – "It’s obvious! So why didn’t we see that solution – before?"

Meyers shows us what’s wrong with our philanthropic large gift raising thinking – and empowers us to break out of the tyranny of the traditional. His book should be purchased – and read – over and over – by development officers, would be and current philanthropists – and by every estate and charitable planning attorney, CPA, insurance agent, financial planner, and wealth manager who is willing to work with an open mind and create what Meyers calls "The right gift, for the right purpose, for the right donor." These are donor-focused (fully engaging with the donor’s needs or desires) integrated, full spectrum holistic gifts.

Meyers three jaw-dropping simple/powerful moving beyond convention concepts of "Virtual Endowments," "Equity Gifts," and "Step-Up" gifts are game changers.
Here’s one example:
Most of us, when we purchase a home, don’t have all the cash necessary (or if we do, we may have a better alternative use for it) to plunk down the money and move in. So we obtain a mortgage and pay off the principle over time. We don’t have to wait 20 or 30 years to "move in."

Meyers suggests that the same principle can be applied to a person who wanted to have a chair in her name, say at Villanova Law School, or have a library room named in her honor at, say at the Library at Fernandina Beach, Florida. Assume she could not – or did not want to - make the outright gift today of (let’s assume, $1,000,000) necessary to establish the endowment.
Suppose she had given the Villanova Law School or Fernandina Beach Library $1,000,000 today – and the charity had invested it – and withdrawn 5% each year as its "spending rate." It would have $50,000 a year to spend.

Now suppose, going back to our real life example, the potential donor didn’t give $1,000,000 today – but instead committed to giving annual gifts equal to the spending rate of $1,000,000, i.e., she committed to giving $50,000 a year for the rest of her life. And she simultaneously committed to a "balloon gift" of $1,000,000 at her death (perhaps through assets she owned or maybe even better, funded with life insurance the charity would own on her life and that she would pay for).

In other words we link two gifts ((1) a multiyear pledge for annual gifts based on the life expectancy of the donor in the amount of the spending rate the charity would have used had it received the endowment up front and (2) a separate pledge or contact to include a gift by bequest or life insurance contract of the original endowment amount) under an umbrella plan.

Knowing that this irrevocable combination pledge will accomplish essentially the same overall benefit as an immediate gift of the lump sum, the Law School or Library could recognize and honor the donor today – and the donor would have the immediate pleasure of seeing and realizing with certainly the impact of her gift.

So simple, so elegant, so workable! It’s like putting the cash box and the adding machine together and making a cash register – or putting four wheels and handles on a trunk and making it into a suitcase.

Like so many concepts in this book, you’ll say to yourself, "Why didn’t we think of this – before?"

1: The Two Cultures of Fundraising: Crashing Your Matrix
2: Matrix-Killing Apps of Personalized Philanthropy
3: Radically Rethinking Endowment: Examples
4: Beyond Conventional Solicitation: Personalized Best Practices
5: Counting, Numbers, Value, and The Big Picture
6: Being the Change and Making Your Own Shift

Personalized Philanthropy can be ordered through

Fixing the Flaw in the Business Model

Posted on June 11th, 2015

Doing the right thing for charitable clients does not have to kill your business model.
See the story here or visit the CEG-Worldwide Elite Advisor Report website
Personalized Philanthropy: Fixing the Flaw in Your Business Model

Steven Meyers

Personalized Philanthropy. For both fundraisers and philanthropists. When we say we want to get it right, what do we mean? “The right gift, for the right purpose, for the right donor.” It's about innovative donor-focused, individually-tailored giving strategies -- new gift applications that combine current and future gifts, so that donors can create a lasting legacy where recognition and impact begin now. To make miracles happen at charitable organizations close to their hearts. ~Steven L. Meyers, Ph.D., Founder, Personalized Philanthropy