Are You Missing Something?

Ann Fitzgerald President AC Fitzgerald author

Ann C. Fitzgerald, President

Your fundraising strategy might include everything from direct mail to events and major gifts. But your nonprofit is missing out on a potentially large source of revenue if it lacks a planned giving program.

What prevents nonprofit leaders from taking advantage of planned gifts? Most of the time, it’s because they believe these gift vehicles are complex and require a great deal of expertise and time. But consider these facts:

  • Most planned gifts are in the form of bequests through donors’ wills—the simplest form of planned giving.
  • In 2012, bequests represented 7% of charitable giving or $23.41 billion to nonprofits.
  • Some analysts project a dramatic increase in bequests over the next 40 years as America experiences major wealth transfer activity.

Here are three easy steps to get your planned giving program underway:

  1. Focus on bequests. Begin by personally asking each board member to make a bequest commitment. It will be easier to market the program to other donors if you have initial pledges in hand.
  2. Promote, promote, promote. Donors don’t change their wills every day, so put reminders in front of them consistently through mailings and newsletters. The good news is that once a donor puts a nonprofit in his will there’s only a one in ten chance he will revoke it.
  3. Marshal your resources. Know whom you can contact for questions in case a donor approaches you with a more complex gift.

Speaking of resources…we’ve put together a super new product: Your Legacy Program Roadmap, which contains 65 pages of ideas, checklists and templates to get your planned giving program off to a successful start. With every order, you’ll also receive a conference call with our experts to answer your questions and customize your plan. Get your copy today!

Ann C. Fitzgerald is Founder and President of AC Fitzgerald, using her decades of experience in fundraising, management, leadership, and sales to help nonprofits build their capacity and achieve success. She is a sought-after speaker, writer, and advisor.

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