Mid-America Planned Giving Council

Helping You Make a Difference


Anne Melvin

Anne T. MelvinAnne T. Melvin, Director of Training and Education, Harvard University

Topic: Pivoting Successfully Handling Difficult Donor Conversations (handouts)

Summary of presentation: Every gift officer faces tough cultivation situations. These can bring a promising gift trajectory to a screaming halt. The successful officer has learned how to handle these tricky situations with grace (if not ease!) by pivoting and reframing the situation for the prospect. This session breaks down the secrets of effective pivoting into several easy-to-remember rules that can apply in most situations.

Attendees will engage in two tough situation role-plays, allowing officers to explore using his or her newly-learned skills in real-life situations so officers will be prepared the next time a prospect’s objections threatens to derail cultivation toward a gift.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to pivot the conversation to take it in a different direction
  • How to reframe the prospect’s issue so s/he can see it in a different light
  • The five basic strategies of pivoting

About Anne: Anne has worked as both a volunteer and a professional in the field of development for the past two decades, and specialized in gift planning for many years. Anne is a nationally recognized speaker on fundraising, and she trains non-profit development staff nationwide through her private practice, ATM Consulting.  She is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and holds a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.

Member Quotes

Kirby GouldSpeaker: Kirby Hughes Gould, Vice-President, Christian Church Foundation

Kirby will lead the group through four donor case studies, where we will interact with each other to answer the following questions:
1. What is unique and distinctive about the donor’s situation?
2.  What solutions can be offered to the donor both personally and financially, and to benefit the charity?
3.  What additional resources need to be secured to assist the donor and the planned giving professional?

Eventbrite - Case Study Discussions on Gift Strategies

PPP Tracks:

  • Core Competencies – Essential knowledge or skills from disciplines related to the field of philanthropic planning.
  • Charitable Estate Planning – Approaches to gifts integrating current or deferred components
  • Gift Design Essentials – Best practices for structuring gifts that benefit both donors and charitable organizations

7:30 am – Registration, continental breakfast, networking
8:00 am – Kirby’s presentation, including Q&A

About Kirby: Kirby Gould has been vice president for the North Central Zone of the Christian Church Foundation since October 1997. The Foundation assists Disciples of Christ churches in the areas of endowments, permanent funds, planned gifts, and bequests.  She serves the regions of Greater Kansas City, Mid America, Upper Midwest, Kansas and Nebraska.  She is also a board member of Partnership For Philanthropic Planning.

Before joining the Foundation, she worked for the National Benevolent Association, primarily as director of Development for the Oklahoma Christian Home in Edmond, OK for 13 years.

Kirby is a native of McPherson, KS, and a graduate of Phillips University in Enid, OK with a bachelor’s degree in music education/music therapy. After graduation she served as Church Admissions Director for the college. In 1999 she was named Outstanding Young Alum by Phillips University.

Kirby is a licensed minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has received the designation of ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), CASL (Certified Advisor for Senior Living), and CAP (Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy). She belongs to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Partners in Philanthropic Planning (PPP) where she served as President of the local chapter in 2011, and serves on the national board of PPP.

JT Cattle Director of Development, Avila University