How to Build a Better Planned Giving Program

How to Build a Better Planned Giving Program

You’ve added a planned giving website, you’ve added an “I would like to know more about planned giving” checkbox to your receipts, and you’ve been talking with your major donors about DAFs, CGAs, non-cash assets, tax deductions, estate plans, avoiding probate, and all the other things.  

How is it going? Are you hearing about new estate gifts? Are you finding the faithful donors who have named your organization in their wills? Do you have measurable results? 

If your answer is “yes, we’ve got it all under control,” congratulations! If you are like many, many planned giving professionals, however, you are strapped for time, short on staff, and find it difficult to show concrete results of your hard work. 

Here are some tips for growing your legacy giving program: 

  • Get to the heart of the matter.
    Before you can talk about end-of-life planning, you first need to know what their lives are all about. Find out what brought them to you, why they give, what connects them to your organization. A desire to know their hearts is the best basis for a real relationship.
  • Inspiration over information.
    Inspire your donors to think about their legacy; don’t drown them in technical advice. If you help them consider what their impact on the world will be after they are gone, you are doing the most important work of the process. If they want more details, they will likely end up talking to their lawyers and financial advisors about it all.
  • Dialogue over monologue.
    Have you ever had a conversation with someone who just kept talking at you, but didn’t really seem interested in what you had to say? That’s kind of what we do when an organization sends all kinds of communications to donors about all the terms and techniques of legacy giving without listening to what they are really asking or wanting to tell us. Make it a two-way conversation!
  • Find the hidden major donors.
    Don’t make the mistake of only considering your biggest donors as planned giving prospects. Look for the people who have been giving consistently and faithfully—it’s not all about the highest dollar amounts. If you find the unexpected donors who have put you in their estate plans, you can continue to develop and grow that relationship while they are still alive. 

These things are all within your reach! But if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of somehow having this kind of deeper, two-way communication with thousands of donors, we can help. And we can give you measurable results. Get the free Growth Plan to get started today!