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Don’t Neglect Big Potential in Planned Giving

Don’t Neglect Big Potential in Planned GivingIt’s easy to overlook planned giving. Chances are good that by the time many of the planned gifts you uncover are realized, you will have moved on to another organization (or retirement!). The pressure is on to get dollars in the door now, so that’s where you spend your time. But nonprofits with a strategic, long-term view cannot ignore the planned giving opportunity on the immediate horizon.

In the next 20 years, $30 trillion will be inherited as baby boomers pass their wealth to the next generation.

That’s trillion. With a T. What makes this an even larger opportunity is the fact that only 6 percent of American adults include a charitable bequest in their estate plans, despite an estimated 90 percent who are giving to charity on an annual basis. Closing that gap by even a few percentage points has the potential for tremendous impact on the nonprofit sector.

Building the relationships necessary to secure planned gifts takes time, so if you don’t have a planned giving program, or if it’s been neglected, now is the time to get going. Here’s a few low-cost ideas to implement or revisit:

  • Build relationships with estate planning attorneys and financial planners. These are important gatekeepers in the planned giving process, and being top of mind for them when a client describes their philanthropic intention can be greatly beneficial for both parties.
  • Planned giving can get overwhelming quickly with annuities, trusts and other complicated giving vehicles. The vast majority of gifts will be relatively simple cash gifts from an estate or IRA, so it’s OK to reduce clutter and only focus on those as you start out, or if your resources are limited.
  • Whenever promoting planned giving opportunities, include a specific name and contact info. Would you want to call an 800 number or send an email to an info@ email address to discuss your final wishes?

With an opportunity this large, you can bet other organizations will be having planned giving conversations with your donors if you’re not. So start having the conversations now that could set your organization up for long-term success and sustainability.

Shocking Statistic: 70 percent of Americans do not have up-to-date wills. This stat and others from this post can be explored further in this article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review.