Asking for a major gift is best done in person.

A Little Bird Told Me…

I picked up my coffee this morning at our local WaWa (for those of you who aren’t on the East Coast, you’ll have to Google that) and drove to our office in Valley Forge, PA. After an uneventful, pleasant drive that gave me a little extra planning time, I pulled into my parking space ready to start the day. I opened the door to get out …

… and there was a sudden explosion of dust, feathers, chirping and chaos! A bird had just zipped in through the open door and was now racing around inside my car in a full-blown panic, a brown blur of speed and determination.

Although to be honest, I’m not sure who was panicking more. It was so unexpected, so sudden, that I had no idea what to do. She chirped and flapped frantically, feathers flying, while I tried to figure out what, exactly, was happening all around me.

Then I started laughing, and opened all the windows. Although she flew out almost immediately — it’s kind of a small space for a panicking bird and a panicking CEO to share, after all — I kind of wished she’d hung out a little longer, so I could at least figure out what kind of bird she was.

It was a crazy, lightning-fast experience, and it really got me thinking. The bird and I both escaped unharmed—thankfully, the car was parked. But imagine if it had flown in through an open window while I was driving?

My point is, accidents happen. A bird made one. Humans make them all the time. One day we’re here, and the next we’re gone. We don’t always get the opportunity to grow old and pass away peacefully.

And this is why it is important to mention estate planning in all of your marketing promotions. Incorporate stories with emotion; stories that get your donors to really think and connect with your message.

One should live well, and leave well… and plan their estate for those they love. Anything else is just being a bird brain, because a simple accident can take your legacy away.

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