While most planned gifts are simple beneficiary gifts, you will most likely encounter a donor who would like to make a gift beyond the “ordinary.” What will you do when a donor wants to donate their house, business, art collection, or property? Does the property have environmental implications? How will you handle those opportunities? How will you ensure that you minimize your organization’s risk and keep the donor happy? Written gift acceptance policies will help you do all this.
Important: Never reject a noncash gift opportunity without giving it serious consideration. There are strategies your donor can implement like starting an LLC or a Donor Advised Fund and donating the asset there. There are also organizations like Charitable Solutions (Bryan Clontz and team) who can potentially handle the gift transaction on your behalf, relieving you of all risk and work. They take a very small fee and send you a check. (more…)
Many people ask me how to count planned gifts. The first thing to keep in mind is that there is a difference between counting and accounting. “Accounting” relates to how gifts are counted with the finance office. These are the numbers we report on our tax returns. “Counting” relates to how you report on gift totals to donors and the general public. These are the numbers we use on our website, in our marketing materials, and in our presentations. The two numbers will never be the same.
There are several associations that publish recommended counting guidelines for planned gifts. The two my colleagues and I recommend are the CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) gift-counting standards for counting outright gifts and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) gift-counting standards for counting future gifts.
They suggest you count gifts in one of 3 categories: (more…)
Few organizations have goals around planned giving. We don’t want to bet on our donors dying, so I am not suggesting you set a goal for realizing planned gifts. I do, however, suggest goals that lead to and include planned gift intentions.
Here are some examples of simple metrics to help you increase your PG activity. (more…)
Often, planned giving programs are started by one person, usually someone with planned giving experience. When that person leaves the organization, so does the program with no one else in the organization fully involved, the program stalls. It’s imperative that you have as many people as possible (board, volunteers, leadership, and the entire development office) involved in the process, participating as planned giving donors and helping you with your outreach, gift acceptance policies, stewardship, whatever makes sense for your situation. (more…)
If you are going to start or grow a planned giving program with intention, the first thing I highly suggest you do is join the legacy society yourself. After all, how can you expect others to join if you are not a member? Once you are a member, it changes the conversation from a request to an invitation. This approach makes it much less threatening. It’s not about knowing all there is to know about charitable lead trusts. It’s about being authentic; it’s about asking others to join you in taking a stand and making a deeper commitment for the greater good. It’s about showing others that there are ways to make larger gifts and still meet their personal needs and goals.
If you have a retirement plan at work, consider making your employer a partial beneficiary in that retirement plan for as little as five percent. You can easily take them out if they fire your butt. 😉 (more…)
Your donor’s first planned gift intention does not have to be the last. You would never think about asking a donor to make a major gift and never asking them to make another. But how many times do fundraisers do that with planned giving donors? They thank their donor for their intention, invite them to the annual luncheon, send them a birthday and holiday card. All good stuff, but there is very likely a percentage of your legacy society members who may be open to increasing their planned gift commitment. Research from Russell James has shown that many planned giving donors are likely to increase their outright giving as well provided they are staying connected to the mission and feeling good about their intention.