Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing – breathing new life into planned giving [Book Review]

If you’re like me, the term “planned gift” immediately conjures up visions of accountants, lawyers, and financial planners gathered around a large table stacked to the ceiling with superfluous paperwork situated in a musty building not far from a nursing home.

Morbid? Yes. Accurate? No.

Enter Michael Rosen’s book… a resource I wish existed several years ago when I was studying for the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) exam. At the time, Planned Giving Simplified: The Gift, The Giver, and the Gift Planner (AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series) was among the best book on the market (it’s still a great survey on the topic). Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing: (AFP Fund Development Series) picks up where Robert Sharpe’s book leaves off, but brushes off the perceived complexity of planned giving and challenged my stereotype of the topic. I’ve found it to be a welcomed resource on my bookshelf and I’m sure you will as well.

If you’re a donor considering Rosen’s book to help inform your own philanthropy I would also like to recommend an essay on endowments located in volume five of ESSAYS ON ECONOMICS AND SOCIETY 2 VOL SET (4 & 5) (Collected Works of John Stuart Mill). I believe you’ll find this will challenge your perspective on perpetual gifts. Conversely, I would also like to recommend the chapter titled “The Best Fields for Philanthropy” found in Andrew Carnegie’s The Gospel of Wealth Essays and Other Writings (Penguin Classics).

About Benjamin Mohler

Benjamin Mohler is the principal consultant and director of GivingThree LLC (a consulting firm for the nonprofit sector). He is a fundraising expert with broad knowledge and experience. However, his specialties include board development, strategic planning, and career coaching.

Additionally, he is Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). In this role, he oversees the KCTCS Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement and the KCTCS Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs. With 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses, KCTCS is the Commonwealth’s largest postsecondary institution. He also serves as executive director of the KCTCS Foundation, Inc.

Mohler most recently served as assistant vice president for development at Eastern Kentucky University. His background also includes key advancement roles at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Cedarville University, and The University of Texas at Austin.

He earned a master’s degree in philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Cedarville University. He is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has earned the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential. He currently serves on the ACFRE Board.

Mohler was named to Charlotte Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" in 2013 and the AFP Bluegrass Chapter honored him with their Exemplary Service Award in 2015.

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