It’s true, PPP is undergoing a complete renovation, centered on member-focused, service-driven improvements that will bring new life to the organization… and it all started with our members
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To begin, I feel every organization should regularly evaluate the effectiveness of its strategic focus, services and delivery systems. So, for more than a year, the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) has been hard at work evaluating those aspects of the organization and are excited to be setting forth on a path of change to better address member needs and the changing environment of charitable gift planning.
The PPP Board has been hard at work, too, interviewing council leaders, talking with members, all as part of a critical needs assessment survey with over 10,000 members and non-members executed by Association Laboratories. To interpret the results of this work, a national task force was convened to present a set of recommendations to the board of directors.
Here’s what we heard:
In the course of these activities, members defined (as top priorities) a need and desire for our organization to:
- Provide a strong professional community for networking and professional growth
- Education opportunities that address both technical and non-technical skills
- Learning opportunities for members at various stages of their careers
- Advocacy and government relations
- Continue its role in setting standards and defining best practices
This critical information has shaped our newly adopted Ends Policies which, of course, set the strategic direction and focus of the organization…
Beyond program offerings, we also heard that our organization is well respected and the leader in charitable gift planning. However, the PPP brand is not clear or easily associated with the activities of the organization. In fact, over two thirds of the councils nationwide have chosen not to incorporate the national brand in either their name or logo.
Here’s what we learned from all this:
Perhaps, the most important realization from this research is that our diverse membership is not satisfied with a one size fits all organization. Different groups of members have different needs and these also evolve over time. If we are to be relevant in both our education offerings and development of community, we need to have the platform to deliver services through multiple avenues and allow for subsets of the membership to create and participate in a supportive environment.
We also learned that we must be more intentional in creating a culture of inclusiveness for all members. As the field of charitable gift planning continues to evolve, so must our culture or we risk being perceived as a closed organization, alienating the next generation of charitable gift planners whose experiences will likely be significantly different than those they follow.
Over 90% of national members also belong to a local council. The combination of local offerings and community networking in tandem with the networking and resources available from national provide a distinct and powerful membership. Our members expect councils and national to work together to optimize benefits and services in creating a highly valued membership experience.
So, here’s what we’ll do:
The board of directors and staff are dedicated to building on our member research to develop those services and benefits that members have indicated are most important. Critical to providing these services is a technology platform that can be effective now and into the future.
With SmallBox as our partner, we are developing an entirely new website that will be launched this year under our new brand and with a focus on providing the many resources of our organization through an efficient navigation system.
The website will house a richly featured community to allow our members opportunities to easily connect and network with individuals of similar interests and shared experiences. Following the website launch, we’ll prioritize the continued development in the area of educational experiences that can be delivered through online learning methods to match the needs of our members.
We will also continue our support of the council network with an expansion of our speakers’ bureau, continued work on programming, and provide administrative support through our tiered council categories.
We are proud of our efforts to get the Charitable IRA Rollover made permanent this past year and also know many challenges are ahead. Advocacy will continue to be a high priority with expanded updates and activities planned for the year.
A name change for PPP?
As our partners at SmallBox began their discovery phase for a brand to match our new energy and strategic direction, feedback from member interviews indicated that our name should also be evaluated for a potential change. Early discussions with our council leaders also indicated a strong majority in support of a name change leading us to provide a survey to allow for all members to have input in the process.
We will continue to share with you information on our progress and ask for your involvement to assist us in making your organization not only valuable for professional development but also your professional community.
And, perhaps most importantly, we will continue to listen.
President & CEO