Getting Oriented

Cues and Clues . . . Responding Now to What Prospects Tell You are Impediments to Giving

Pamela Davidson

Friday, October 4, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


The gift planner’s role is to move the gift consideration process forward, to keep it going. We often have to think beyond our employer’s notion of the appropriate gift and offer real suggestions that address issues a donor may perceive as impediments to giving. In most cases, the plans we offer are simple and repeatable, and their appeal is greatly enhanced when they respond to the many cues and clues prospects continually offer us about their dreams, life stages, family issues and assets. This session will empower you to respond in real time to what your prospects tell you, to move the gift consideration process in a positive and progressive direction, and to be the spark that ignites a great idea for a gift.

Learning Objectives

  1. Actively listen to what donors and prospects are telling you about their perceived impediments to giving.
  2. Act on the maxim, "if we do not ask, the answer is always no" and proactively suggest gift planning ideas that address the concerns prospects are telling us  about.
  3. Feel comfortable making referrals to other advisors when gift discussion exceed your own expertise.


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Pamela Davidson

Davidson Gift Design

Pamela Jones Davidson, JD, has been a nationally-recognized speaker in charitable gift planning for decades. She is President of Davidson Gift Design in Bloomington, Indiana, a consulting firm specializing in motivational presentations about all aspects of gift planning, planned giving program design and implementation and training. She is also a Senior Vice President for Thompson & Associates, offering estate planning services to nonprofits. From 1985 through 1996, she was Executive Director of Planned Giving and Associate Counsel for Indiana University Foundation. Pam received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 1975, and graduated  magna cum laude from the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1979. She was an examiner in the Estate and Gift Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and practiced law with an Indianapolis law firm before joining the nonprofit sector in 1985. Pam was the 1999 President of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, after serving on its board for six years. She was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2018, in its second class. She is a past board member and treasurer of the Indiana Chapter of AFP, and a past board member and president of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana. She serves on the Community Advisory Boards of both of her local public radio and television stations and on other local boards.