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August 29, 2018

Jump Start Your Planned Giving Program

Today, Ann and I are at the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable Summer Symposium. We love this gathering of fundraisers and planned giving experts. It’s chock full of incredible content from nationally-recognized presenters. The attendees are dedicated, talented, and welcoming to all!

We’re lucky enough to be presenting a session here called “Jump Start Planned Giving with Limited Resources” for small development operations.

We’d like to share the outline of the session with you. If you have been thinking about planned giving, but don’t know where to start, this might just get you going!

So many organizations we work with want to have a planned giving program, but don’t. They know that planned giving is a way to build deeper relationships with donors and secure income for the future. But, too many fundraisers – especially those with limited staff and resources — feel like it would take too much time and money to even get started.

And indeed, if you had to build a planned giving effort from scratch, it is a lot of work.

But we’ve seen organizations use what they are already doing in fundraising to jump start a planned giving effort with great success. They don’t go out and hire staff and consultants or spend a ton on materials. They use what they have to just get started.

How can you find the foothold for planned giving in your fundraising? Here are four questions to explore:

Strategy: How can you integrate planned giving into your existing fundraising strategy?

  • Are you looking to build reserves or an endowment?
  • Do you have long-term donors that are starting to decrease their giving?
  • Do you have monthly donors who LOVE your organization?

Case for Support: What’s already happening in your organization’s story that would support the planned giving?

  • Do you have an anniversary coming up?
  • Are you starting a new program?
  • Is a founder moving on?
  • Are you building a new facility?

Policies and Structure: What do you already have in place?

  • Do you have a gift acceptance policy?
  • What financial advisor or legal expertise could you tap into?
  • What recognition opportunities already exist? Where could you piggy back?

Drip, Drip, Drip Messaging: How can you use the communications channels you already have?

  • Who are your closest and most loyal supporters?
  • What channels so you already have available to reach planned giving prospects?
  • Are you doing major gift solicitation?

Use these four areas to explore your organization’s potential for starting a planned giving initiative from what you are already doing. You don’t need a lot of money or advanced expertise to start asking your donors to support your organization for the long-term. Find your foothold and get started today!

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