How much do you remember from the last conference session or planned giving council meeting you attended? Chances are that if you were sitting passively, watching bullets fly by on Powerpoint slides, you don’t remember much.
At its annual spring Roundtable, PPP’s Leadership Institute took the first steps toward developing a library of teaching cases that will be used as the basis of practical training for major gift officers, advisors, charity managers, and others who have a role in the gift planning process. Best practices for adult learning always include tying technical information to a story, to engage the learner’s problem-solving instinct and help new information “stick” to personal experience. And good stories are easy to find among the long-time planners in the Leadership Institute.
Some are horror stories…
- After a long negotiation, the naming gift is secured, but the powers-that-be decide not to build that building after all.
- The loyal supporter is excited to open discussion of his biggest gift yet…on the day after he sells his business.
Some are blended stories…
- The grateful patient’s gift to honor a doctor is nixed by financial advisors, until the charity agrees to roll a bequest commitment into the agreement.
Some have happy endings that surprise everyone…
- The retired couple who never made a charitable gift before donates the highly-appreciated family farm in fractional interests to create a community park.
All of these stories are full of teachable moments that begin with analysis of what went well and what could have been done differently. Learners who undertake that analysis in a classroom setting engage the same mental muscles they’d use in the field, stretching their comfort zones and their planning skill sets.
Leadership Institute cases will be under development through the summer. Attendees at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning will be among the first to experience case-based training.
If you’ve been involved in a planning situation that you think would make a great teaching case, click here to read our Ideas for Case Writers. Click here to learn more about the Leadership Institute and apply to join. The next Roundtable is a pre-conference session at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning.