With all the pressure we are under to bring cash in the door, the thought of proactively focusing on planned giving can be daunting. It seems like such a big step that requires too great of a commitment for us to handle. Here are some of the more common excuses I hear from people for not offering planned gift (non-cash options) to their donors and how to refute them.
“We are too busy”—if you integrate gift planning into the conversations, reporting, metrics, and activity you are already doing, it’s not all that much more work and the payoff can be significant.
“We need cash in the door now”—research shows properly stewarded planned giving donors are very likely to increase their outright giving. Donors want choices. How long can you go back to the same donors asking them to write big checks?
“We just need to finish our black-tie event, golf outing, or skeet shooting event”—it’s never going to be the “perfect time” to start or accelerate a planned giving program. There are always going to be other, more “urgent” things that seem more important.
“We are down two people”—don’t rely on one person to run your planned giving program. Make planned giving
everyone’s business, including annual fund staff, major gift officers, and alumni relations staff.
- Create a 1–2-page plan to launch or accelerate a planned giving program. For a free plan template email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Set little goals to get you started. Great One! “Our goal is to add 10 new legacy society members this year”.
- Never forget that if we are not offering our donors noncash gift options, we are doing them a disservice.