Most non-profit leaders are reluctant to start a planned giving program because they don’t see the immediate value. The thinking is, “Why should I create a program that won’t benefit the organization for another 10-15 years? I mean, I’m not even going to be here that long.”
But hold on – that actually isn’t true.
Our Director of Planned Giving Services, Robert Shafis, was telling me that recent research and data suggest that one of the best ways to generate more gifts for an organization NOW is to actively market planned gifts, and to use planned gift techniques in fundraising.
The data are showing us that planned gift donors give more in annual gifts right AFTER they make a gift through their estate and financial plans. And it’s not a small increase, but an increase of 75%, with consistently larger annual gifts for years in the future. The message is clear: if you want more direct gifts now, planned giving is one of the keys.
Okay, did you just read that? The more donors you’ve gotten to pledge a planned gift to your organization, the more they will give NOW… like, way more!
Secondly, research also shows that organizations which ask for and get gifts of non-cash assets (such as stock, real estate, collectibles, etc.) see a much larger growth in overall giving than those which receive cash alone. Once again, the growth difference is significant, with organizations accepting stocks and non-cash gifts seeing SIX TIMES more growth than those which just accept cash.
Is this enough evidence for you to finally consider creating or investing more in your planned giving program?
As Bob goes on to explain, “there are several factors at play here. The first is that the rules that apply to how gifts of non-cash assets are taxed make them much more valuable to the donor, and actually can make a gift less expensive for the donor. Also, by elevating the conversation, the fundraiser becomes a more credible and important part of the conversation.”
Having discussions with donors about their assets leads to several other things as well.
While opening the donor’s eyes to alternative sources for gifts, it has the related effect of helping the donor see that their philanthropy is not the same as writing a check to pay the bills, but it’s an extraordinary opportunity which calls for extraordinary gift options.
This is a key moment in the life of a donor. Talking about gifts of appreciated stock, real estate or collectibles (not to mention IRAs and Donor Advised Fund gifts) launches the donor relationship to a new and exciting level.
You don’t have to know all about the planned gift options available and tax implications. The main point is to listen for and have planned gift options ready when you’re meeting with a donor. This allows you to delve into talking about the donor’s assets and allows you to say, “that’s a great point [donor], let me check with my planned giving expert and get back to you next week.” It helps build the relationship and extend a meaningful conversation that leads to a substantial gift.
So don’t fall into the trap that investing in a planned giving program will only help your organization 10 to 15 years from now. If you want to increase revenue, it’s clear that creating the resources to create, build and manage a planned giving program will boost donated revenue right now.
PS — If you want to know more about how to start or develop a planned giving program, click here and find out how. Our Planned Giving Expert would be happy to talk with you about our FREE Planned Giving Assessment.