Archive for March 3rd, 2011

March 3, 2011

How Much Could Your Planned Giving Program be Worth?

If your organization already has a gift planning program, is it worth investing more money to promote it?

If your organization is contemplating starting a gift planning program, will it really be worthwhile to do?

In my book, Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing, I wanted to help development professionals answer those questions. So, I developed a worksheet that looks at the most common planned gift instrument: charitable bequests. Of course, bequests are just one facet of a planned giving program. Charitable gift annuities, trusts and, some would even say, gifts of stock can also be part of a robust planned giving program. However, since most planned gifts will be in the form of bequests let’s look more closely at what your organization’s potential is for this type of gift.

To truly project how much a planned giving program can produce, one must understand as many of the variables as possible including the nature of the prospect pool, the wealth of prospects, the passion of prospects, the history of the organization, past service performance, the purpose of the fundraising effort, the nature of the cause, the community, past philanthropic performance, the marketing effort, and so on. Collectively, this makes it difficult to forecast planned giving results. However, one can fairly easy gauge an organization’s potential given a mythical, ideal set of circumstances. The following worksheet is meant to provide development professionals with an understanding of the broad potential impact of planned giving for their organizations.

While this is not a scientific forecasting tool and while the worksheet only addresses one type of gift, it can still help with forecasting by outlining aspirational targets. This worksheet looks at the most common, easy-to-market type of planned gift while my book also includes a worksheet for projecting charitable gift annuity potential.

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