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Encouraging Generosity Through Research and Teaching with Dr. Russell James of Texas Tech University

Dr. Rusell James is very well known in the philanthropic and estate planning fields. He is currently the Professor of Charitable Financial Planning at Texas Tech University where he is leading research on charitable giving and fundraising in pursuit of his focus to make and share words, pictures, and discoveries that help others to encourage generosity.

His research has been cited in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, US News and World Report, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg News, ABC News, USA today and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • The terror management theory and why you shouldn’t lead a conversation on legacy messaging with the concept of death
  • The importance of communicating social impact in the decision to partake in legacy giving
  • What is the Social Norm Default and how it affects legacy gifts fundraising
  • How a donor’s age influences their legacy gift messaging
  • The importance of including the donor’s life story in their bequest
  • The best way to encourage tribute gifts and why you should not ignore your oldest supporters
  • The three types of people who are most likely to monetary gifts to charity upon their death
  • Why going beyond the donor’s will is important according to Dr. James

In this episode…

There are different forms of giving people want to be associated with but when it comes to legacy gifts, research has shown that most people are likely to try to avoid the subject because it reminds them of their own mortality. But according to Dr. Rusell James, Professor of Charitable Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, there is a way to broach that subject without sending alarm bells ringing. Even better, there are key methods of encouraging donors to take part in legacy gift giving that fundraisers need to be aware of.

Dr. James’ research has led him to understand the subtle art of philanthropy through methods such as the use of econometric analysis of large data sets, functional magnetic resonance imaging, neuro imaging, and skin conductance response. His more than 25 years as a planned giving fundraiser and estate planning attorney has helped get a better understanding of the world of philanthropy.

Tune in as he discusses with Penny Cowden about the research he has done on legacy gift giving, his techniques in encouraging a bigger audience to participate in legacy donations, and the importance of reflecting the donor’s life story in their donation.

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Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor For This Episode

This episode is brought to you by Philanthropy212, a fundraising consulting company focusing on helping not-for-profit organizations to build sustainable practices and programs that raise more money. Philanthropy212's founder, Penny Cowden, has 25 years experience in the industry & has helped raise more than $100 million for non-profits such as PeaceHealth, Sisters of Charity, Inova Health System, Banner Health System and Sun Health.