Fundraising Tip | The Three B’s of a Planned Giving Campaign

January 23, 2014
| by Editor |

With the start of a new year, many of your donors may be thinking about how to plan their financial futures – writing wills, opening insurance policies, etc. Similarly, a Planned Giving Campaign is a proactive way to help your organization ensure a lasting community impact. 

Many nonprofit organizations have excluded planned giving from their fundraising activities because they feel uncomfortable asking their donors about their estate plans, are intimidated by legal and financial aspects, or believe that their attention is better spent securing gifts in the short run.

Beginning conversations now with your most loyal supporters about planned giving can lead to deeper, stronger relationships. Although their timing is unpredictable, planned gifts have the potential to sustain current programs, fund new incentives and provide a foundation to continue your mission.

Don’t know where to start? Follow the Three B’s for information on how to begin:

Brainstorm the Campaign

First and foremost, you should have a firm grasp on what a planned gift is, the steps someone would need to take to include your organization in a bequest or beneficiary designation, and what your campaign goals are. The more you understand the planned giving process, the easier it will be to get others on board.

Board Member Involvement

When thinking about your most loyal supporters, start with the Board of Directors. These individuals have committed their time and financial resources to the betterment of your organization. If they don’t already understand the value of planned gifts, take time at the next board meeting to present some information on how a planned giving campaign would effectively benefit the organization. Just as with securing annual board gifts, you should strive for 100% board member participation, with board members soliciting other supporters in the future.

Build Planned Giving into your Communications Plan

To ensure planned giving success, integrate the campaign into every communication channel. Sending out a direct mail piece soon? Include an insert about your planned giving campaign, explaining both the value of a planned gift to your organization and the ease of setting up a beneficiary designation or bequest. Adding a page to your website or a section to your newsletter with more information is a simple way to share the news, too.

For more state-wide resources, visit the Georgia Planned Giving Council website.

If you’re interested in launching your own planned giving campaign, take a look at this research from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy to see if your organization is ready! 

Corby Herschman is the Development Manager at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

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