Importance of Planned Giving: Leverage


Is your charity the nonprofit version of The Titanic?

It could be if you don’t have a planned giving program.

Listen to this blog in the video below or keep on reading.

We all know that finding and maintaining sources of funding is a constant challenge. But too many nonprofits focus their time and energy entirely on annual donations. Their fundraisers dodge crisis after crisis, caught in a never-ending storm of annual appeals that just manage to keep the boat afloat.

Through all this, there’s no eye toward charting a more sustainable course via planned giving, just some vague excuses, like “Planned gifts take too long,” or “We don’t have the staff for that.”

Talk about a surefire way to run full steam into a financial iceberg.

Nonprofits, after all, are just as prone to going under as that “unsinkable” ship — and when that happens, they pull down the critical missions they serve as well.

But here’s the thing: Even a simple planned giving program can be enough to guide your nonprofit through troubled waters.  

It can ensure a consistent, long-term source of funding that helps smooth the waves in the future. And it can be a life preserver for times when sources of one-time charitable gifts are sinking.

Planned giving is, in its simplest form, a sizable donation given over time or all at once as part of a donor’s estate — like a direct transfer of cash via a bequest that’s included in a will, or a gift of life insurance or a retirement account through a beneficiary designation.

And simple is key. You don’t need a complicated gift system, a degree in tax law or a background in accounting to begin building your endowment today.

In fact, you simply need to announce that you’re accepting bequests, and then begin a basic (but consistent) marketing program.

Yes, it really is that easy. And as your planned giving program grows (and it will grow), you can build onto it.

Beginning a planned giving program is one of the most transformational things you can do for your nonprofit. It provides another level of legitimacy, trust, and credibility that donors appreciate.

And developing a marketing strategy and a 12-month marketing plan to pursue planned gifts can literally change an organization’s financial landscape, providing more secure long-term footing for the journey ahead.

But don’t just take our word for it—look at some of the biggest, most well-funded charities in the world. Each and every one has a robust planned giving program, because the results speak for themselves.

In fact, a report from financial giant Morgan Stanley showed that planned giving is often responsible for more than half of all new capital campaigns among an ever- growing number of nonprofits. That’s because planned gifts are among the largest gifts a nonprofit will receive, often 200 to 300 times the size of a donors largest annual gift.

Even those fundraisers that just dip a toe in the planned-giving waters are earning 50 percent to 100 percent more than those who aren’t!

This means if you don’t have a planned giving strategy, you’re losing out on a boatload of funding.

And now for one last thing to consider: Financial experts are predicting that, over the next five decades or so, between $40 trillion and $140 trillion will be passed from one generation to the next.

That’s trillion, with a ‘T,” and it represents the greatest wealth transfer in the history of the world.

But here’s the kicker: Morgan Stanley predicts about a third of this money will likely be transferred to nonprofits through — you guessed it — planned giving!

The importance of establishing a planned giving seems like a no-brainer now, doesn’t it?

We’ll even go so far as to say that proceeding without one makes about as much sense as that time the Titanic’s captain ignored those warnings about ice—and we all know how that turned out.

Don’t sink your nonprofit over something as simple, yet critically important, as a planned giving program.

Contact us today and we’ll not only throw you a life preserver that will keep your organization afloat—we’ll help you chart a whole new financial future for your nonprofit.


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