Are you a small non-profit who has stayed away from planned giving because you don’t think it is for your organization? Or you don’t believe that you have the resources to conduct a campaign? Or you are just operating day to day trying to meet payroll with not an eye towards the long haul?
I am here to say, start thinking about planned giving. If you don’t you will be missing the philanthropic boat. Planned giving is not just for the large non-profits, it is for you the small ones too. In fact, many small shops are doing it and doing it very well.
Now is the time, in fact, the demographics tell us that our donor populations are aging and that a large concentration of wealth will soon change hands.
I urge all non-profits including the very smallest of shops, to start incorporating planned giving into their current development efforts.
The time is right and it is right now!
And, there is no need to have in-depth knowledge about charitable gift annuities and uni-trusts. In fact, the most common and prevalent planned gift is the simplest of all to administer: a bequest left to a charity in a donor’s will. Most non-profits find that 70 to 80 percent of their planned-gift dollars come in this form!
Here are some simple ways in which you can get started incorporating planned giving into what you are already currently doing:
- Promote bequest giving in your donor newsletter.
- Add a check-off box to your current appeal reply envelope “for more information about leaving a bequest…”
- Update your website to include a way for donors to request more information on planned gifts and post bequest language on it.
- Don’t forget to incorporate some planned giving information in your organization’s e-blasts and e-newsletters as well.
- Add a sentence or two into your annual report and your appeal letter reminding donors about making planned gifts to your organization.
- Identify segments of your donor file and send them a special “planned giving/bequest” appeal/informational letter.
So even if you are a small shop, there are some very simple things you can start doing today in your already existing fundraising efforts. Don’t delay, planned giving is not immediate, and you must start now to build a legacy for your future. No more excuses, it’s time to talk “bequests!”