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Satisfaction in the Morning

Most of us have experienced “buyer’s remorse.”  A smooth-talking salesperson rushes us into a decision we are unprepared to make. The usual pattern involves the purchase of a car or something else of value. At first we try our best to be happy with our choice. But, invariably, the next morning we awake to the inescapable realization that we made a poor decision. We are angry at the salesperson … and with ourselves for letting it happen. We suffer from “buyer’s remorse.”

There is also something known as “donor remorse.” Perhaps an overzealous fundraiser talks us into making a gift we later regret. It’s not exactly what we wanted to do and we feel badly about it the next morning. Our remorse is compounded when the asset is significant and we are locked into an irrevocable agreement.

Planned giving professionals should always be committed to helping donors create “remorseless” gift arrangements and satisfied donors. Their goal should be “satisfaction in the morning.”

In order to accomplish this, development professionals should follow these steps:

  1. Discover what donors want to accomplish with their gifts.
  2. Present various options to help donors discover the plan that will not only accomplish their objectives but do it in a better way than they thought possible.
  3. Take all the time needed to explore and answer every question and concern.
  4. Endeavor to protect donors from making gifts that would place them in financial jeopardy.
  5. If other professionals such as financial planners, insurance advisors or CPAs need to be consulted during the planning process, help to orchestrate this and even accompany donors to these appointments, should they desire.
  6. Most importantly, every donor should be encouraged to review his or her gift plan with independent counsel prior to signing an irrevocable document.

Again, instead of “donor remorse,” the objective should be “satisfaction in the morning.”

Feel free to contact me with no obligation at 614-338-2365 or jjacobs@tcjf.org if you’d like to discuss a planned gift for the Jewish community’s benefit. I will guide you and zealously guard your confidences.

Article appears as originally published in the Ohio Jewish Chronicle, Thursday, March 30, 2017.

Jackie Jacobs is the Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, the Central Ohio Jewish community’s planned giving and endowment headquarters.

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