Take measures now to ensure your donors know that planned gifts are not only welcome but encouraged. In your verbal, print and digital communications with donors and prospective planned givers, it is important to strike the right balance between their needs and your organization’s needs. Organization’s tend to focus too heavily on themselves and their case for support. To be sure, this is important; but we must never forget one thing: the donor.
Successful planned giving programs can be simple, especially in the start-up phase. Concentrate your early planned giving efforts on these three areas:
- Donor-focused communications
- Encouraging bequest gifts
- Networking with professional advisors
Over time, as your planned giving program matures, fold in more planned giving best practices. A great resource for planned giving best practices to help you strengthen your new or mature planned giving program is Michael Rosen’s book Donor –Centered Planned Gift Marketing.
Not all planned giving gardeners are nonprofit employees or volunteers. It is great to read a thoughtful article like the one from journalist Rachel Emma Silverman of the Wall Street Journal: How to Leave Money to Charity. She is helping to plant a wonderful garden of planned giving seeds.
Now, go plant your own planned giving seeds, and watch them grow! Over time, your organization will have a bountiful harvest and a complete charitable pie.