For Your Eyes Only

Relevant Segment: Aging Services

Fundraising at nonprofit life plan communities (LPCs) has some special nuances and unusual circumstances. For one, when new residents join the community, they reveal their assets and income to the finance staff. Should the fundraising staff have access to that information?

No. Fundraisers at LPCs have no compelling reason to raid resident files for financial information, and most residents would be appalled if they did. Further, if residents perceive the philanthropy program as targeting the most well off for special treatment, rather than as a resource available to all, they are likely to resent and oppose fundraising. The best policy bars the philanthropy program from accessing this information.

Capable and interested residents at LPCs naturally reveal themselves to the fundraising staff. The social circles that form in the residential setting open a path to build real relationships with residents. With frequent opportunities to learn about philanthropy and its impact on the campus, interested residents will step forward on their own. Observing who is living in the larger units and seems to have disposable income, and listening to residents talk about their professional and civic accomplishments give clues to who can be invited to make larger gifts. All without looking at a single file.