[#PPPrebrand] What We've Learned From Our Members

Posted by National Association of Charitable Gift Planners on Mar 31, 2016 9:41:57 AM

"I am eager to share some of our research findings with you, but first I want to assure our members that this rebrand is not just a new name and logo… it’s so much more."  Mollie Toland- PPP Membership Director

Joining the staff of an organization re-thinking their strategic priorities and overall brand can be scary. However, being the optimist that I am, I decided from day one I would take this opportunity to really understand our members' needs and use that information to help shape the future of this organization.


So when Smallbox, our agency partner, suggested surveying our members seeking their thoughts and feelings on PPP and the rebrand, I thought this is my chance to listen.


I’ll have to admit, I was nervous about what our members were going to say. After all, this rebrand stemmed from their disappointment in a one size fits all organization (read more in our CEO's blog, here). Well the results, 571 of them to be exact, came in and I was pleasantly surprised by the positive and supportive comments.

I am eager to share these findings with you, but first I want to assure our members that this rebrand is not just a new name and logo... it’s so much more. We are undergoing a complete renovation, centered on member-focused, service-driven improvements that will bring new life to the organization.

Let's begin...

Why a career in gift planning?
We wanted to know why our members chose a career that incorporates charitable giving so we could get a better idea of what motivates them. The responses are visualized in a word cloud below.


When we read through the responses a few themes appeared:

  • PASSION- Passion for philanthropy and a desire to help people was a key motivator in choosing planned giving as a career focus.
  • PROGRESSION- For many, getting into planned giving was the step to advance their career. This was often described as an evolution or progression.
  • FIT- Many people mentioned liking the challenge of planned giving, and appreciating the balance between technical and people skills. People often referred to planned giving as a “fit.”
  • CAREER- Planned giving was often part of a career change or enhancement, especially for people in law or accounting wishing to apply their skills to make a difference.
  • ACCIDENT- Many people got into planned giving by accident. Some seemed neutral, but many referred to it as a happy accident. In some cases people mentioned being asked to get involved by a mentor or someone within their organization.
  • PARTIAL FOCUS- Many mentioned planned giving is only part of what they do. The PPP member spent 61.9% of their work week on gift planning.

Why join PPP?
I think some of the most crucial information for us to understand is why our members originally joined this organization and what their experience has meant to them. These points are visualized in the next two images.


This graph illustrates the areas where PPP shines. However, as I mentioned already, this rebrand includes member-focused, service-driven improvements. Education, networking, and resources are also the areas we will be enhancing so members have access to these opportunities at their fingertips.


It’s encouraging to see these words come to the top when members reflect on their experience with our organization. Providing members with an environment where they feel connected and informed is at the forefront of our new strategic focus.  

What’s in a name?
When we asked our members what was most important for the organization’s new name to accomplish, the overwhelming response was to clearly communicate what the organization does. We understand, for many, the current name isn’t clear or easily associated with the activities of the organization. Members also asked for the new name to be easy to say and share.

This organization exists for our members, so our survey wouldn’t be complete without asking what language they would like to see in a new name. The responses are visualized in a word cloud below.


Many of the obvious terms stand out here: planned, gift, legacy, and charitable. We are pleased to see this aligning with the other research Smallbox has conducted and the response from what members are looking for in a name.

This information is invaluable for the future of our organization. It shows me our members are committed and want to see the organization thrive. I know I speak for our entire staff when I say we are excited to give you the tools to do your job better. Stay tuned!

Author: Mollie Toland
Director of Membership, PPP


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Topics: philanthropy, planned giving, General, News, Rebrand, Research