Donor Designations

Undesignated Ask 

More and more donors in the Baby Boomer category and younger prefer to give to specific projects rather than giving unrestricted funds. Holly Hall writes in “No Strings Attached” (Chronicle of Philanthropy, 9/20/07). “Many people place no restrictions on their bequests, but more and more living donors – especially those who are giving large sums – earmark their money for specific uses, fundraisers say. The shift seems to be generational: White members of the World War II generation often make undesignated gifts, younger donors usually want to direct where large contributions go.

Donors come to Boston University, development VP Scott Nichols says, “with very clear ideas about what they want to support… and they move on if we cannot accommodate them.”

“Asking for unrestricted gifts is one of the more difficult tasks,” says Ken Strmiska former president of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation in Wisconsin, and now a director at the Council on Foundations. “Asking for and un restricted gift,” he told Hall, “is like asking someone to marry you. It takes time, and the donor has to really know you.”

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, More Than Money: The Truth About High-Capacity Givers.

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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One Response to Donor Designations

  1. Very helpful, Gary. Together for Tanzania has recently started a restrictive giving project which certainly seems to grab donors’ interest more than unrestrictive giving, especially with people wanting to make smaller donations. Your post is reassuring that we may be heading in the right direction. Thanks.

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