Should You Forget about Planned Giving as 2020 Closes?

Garvin Maffett, EdD, a strategic consultant in the nonprofit sector, recently asked the members of the CFRE International Network on LinkedIn:

What’s on the horizon for Gift Planning during this uncertain time in our economy?”

It’s a good question, and I thank Maffett for starting a needed discussion. Some fundraising professionals have wondered whether they should rollback planned gift marketing during the pandemic, or whether they should boldly engage in more robust charitable gift planning efforts.

My simple answer is this: You should definitely NOT forget about planned giving as 2020 draws to a close. While the economic future is definitely uncertain, now is a fantastic time for charitable gift planning. Let me explain.

The stock market, while volatile, continues on an upward trajectory. Most Americans own stock. Many of those who own stock have seen appreciation this year. This means there is a great opportunity for you to secure gifts of appreciated stock for your organization.

Motivated by the coronavirus pandemic, many more people have chosen to write a Will. With more people making end-of-life plans, there is an opportunity to encourage them to include a gift to your charity in their Wills.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has people contemplating their own mortality, life insurance sales have increased. This presents you with an opportunity to encourage beneficiary designations for your nonprofit.

Over the past several years, we have seen donations TO Donor Advised Funds increasing. Over the past several months, giving to DAFs has increased even more. With more money held in DAF accounts than ever before, there is a greater opportunity to encourage donors to recommend donations FROM DAFs to your organization.

As people are concerned about their current financial situation and their uncertain future, they may be more willing to make a philanthropic commitment that does not require a current sacrifice. With a deferred gift, individuals can make a substantial commitment to your organization without needing to deplete funds that they need today.

There are other ways that you can use charitable gift planning to help donors realize their philanthropic aspirations. Check out some of the other ideas that our fundraising colleagues have offered over on LinkedIn.

For specific legacy-giving strategies based on science, check out the white paper by Dr. Russell James and me.

For some additional strategies for pursuing complex major and planned gifts, check out the post by James.

While these are uncertain times, at least one thing is certain: There are great opportunities for you to secure planned gifts for your nonprofit organization as 2020 comes to a close. Done right, you can help your supporters while helping your organization.

What do you think? What type of planned gifts are you seeing attracting the greatest interest?

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?


One Comment to “Should You Forget about Planned Giving as 2020 Closes?”

  1. Thanks for the great reminders Michael.

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