WHAT THE FUNDRAISING

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137: Grief and Giving: How to Navigate Legacy Giving in Thoughtful and Vulnerable Ways with Kimberley Pittman-Schulz

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“Have a little fearlessness and explore your own experience with loss and death and grief.”

– Kimberley Pittman-Schulz
Episode #137

Overview

In this episode of What the Fundraising Podcast…

In this episode, we talk with Kimberley Pittman-Schulz. For over 20 years, Kimberley has been the guiding hand behind successful donor strategies for major universities and child development organizations globally. Known for her candid approach, she whole-heartedly steps foot into territories many avoid – discussing end-of-life matters and grieving. A passion for supporting people through loss prompted her to become a grief and life transitions mentor, providing compassionate guidance during times of profound change. And now she has connected her work as a grief counselor to her work with nonprofits through legacy giving guidance. There is so much about legacy giving that we don’t understand as a sector, and many of us avoid the topic altogether because of the vulnerabilities it activates. Which is exactly why I wanted to navigate these waters with Kimberly. 

The truth is, the world of philanthropy was not where Kimberley Pittman-Schulz expected to find her life’s purpose. Having worked extensively in various roles over 20 years, she gradually found herself becoming a bridge between donors and the organizations they wished to support. She facilitated conversations around grief, loss, and end-of-life decisions – topics often avoided by even the most seasoned professionals. Yet, in those emotionally charged conversations, Kimberley found a deep well of understanding and connection. She discovered the transformative power of these discussions on donors’ giving patterns and their perception of legacy. Her unique ability to empathize and engage without crossing professional boundaries earned her the admiration and trust of her donors, and a fulfilling career that brought a profound sense of purpose and meaning to her life.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

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Kimberley Pittman-Schulz

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Many thanks to our incredible sponsors at DonorPerfect. DonorPerfect has a lot of free educational resources for fundraisers.  Learn more and download some of their guides and tools today at donorperfect.com/mallory.
  • If you haven’t already, please visit our new What the Fundraising community forum. Check it out and join the conversation at this link.
  • If you’re looking to raise more from the right funders, then you’ll want to check out my Power Partners Formula, a step-by-step approach to identifying the optimal partners for your organization.

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Get to know Kimberley:

Kimberley is a Grief & Life Transitions mentor and coach as well as an award-winning poet, author, and speaker on living with loss, cultivating joy, and changing the world, or some corner of it, through philanthropy. During 25+ years as a charitable and end-of-life planning advisor, Kimberley’s worked with incredibly diverse people looking for meaning after the loss of a spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or beloved animal to illness, accident, suicide, or traumatic death.

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I teach nonprofit fundraisers to bring in more gifts from the RIGHT donors… so they can stop hounding people for money. Fundraising doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.

MALLORY ERICKSON

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