Planned Giving Insights from the 2023 CGP Conference

Planned Giving Insights from the 2023 CGP Conference 1 Planned Giving Insights from the 2023 CGP Conference

At last week’s Charitable Gift Planners annual conference, the Canopy team picked up on four big themes that can help you stay ahead of the curve on planned giving trends and best practices in this ever-evolving field. 

1. Intentional conversations will transform your planned giving program. 

With prospective legacy donors, a good conversation can be the key to securing more gifts. A session called “P.I.V.O.T. to Turn Planned Gift Inquiries into Planned Gifts” featured Karen Piel and Delinda Rood, who outlined a five-point process to create a framework for your pipeline: Plan, Invite, Verify, Offer, and Transform. They reminded us that it may take several attempts before connecting in a meaningful way, but those connections always start with a good plan. This session, along with many others at the CGP conference, stressed the importance of open-ended questions that get to the heart of the donor.  

2. A little thanks goes a long way. 

In his session titled “Navigating Planned Gift Stewardship Conversations,” Jason Shuba shared the importance of fostering relationships with your existing legacy donors. This means doing your due diligence before a conversation even begins. That might be as simple as looking up previous conversation notes in your CRM, or it might mean brushing up on your understanding of the type of gift they chose to include in their plans. Jason shared several examples of ways to thank existing donors while keeping the conversation going. These types of conversations ensure that your organization remains top of mind for your existing donors, and it has the potential to strengthen your relationships (which might even lead to more gifts in the immediate future!) 

3. Building capacity for planned giving might require some help. 

 As our team created connections with nonprofit professionals at the CGP conference, there was a sense that people were looking for new ways to build capacity within their staff. The options range from resourcing your staff with a great planned giving vendor to small things like borrowing email templates from a neighboring organization. Regardless, we know that collaboration and creativity can lighten the load for your planned giving team.  

One session titled “Engaging Volunteer Leaders for Gift Planning Leadership and Fundraising” recommended looking to volunteers as a resource for your organization. Shannon Jauregui and Simon Williams shared examples of board engagement from The Nature Conservancy that inspired donors to take action and get more involved. These volunteers were responsible for things like event invites, peer-to-peer communications, and legacy society promotion. The end result for The Nature Conservancy was a robust and organized culture of legacy giving within the organization and beyond.  

4. The great wealth transfer is already well underway. 

 We have been hearing about the nation’s largest wealth transfer from experts for many years now at the CGP conference, but what you might not know is that we are already experiencing the effects of this today. Nearly $7 billion will change hands before 2030—and it’s almost 2024 already!  

In the session titled “Surviving and Thriving the ‘Silver Tsunami’” we learned that the U.S. Census Bureau predicts there will be more adults than children in our country for the first time ever. Renee Durnin and Laura Spellings shared that this only further proves the importance of investing in legacy giving for your organization so that your supporters today can leave a gift that secures your organization’s success in the future.  

A big thank you to the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners for hosting a great event. We love the opportunity to learn from so many leading professionals in the industry, and we look forward to attending future CGP conferences.

Are you ready to embark on your planned giving journey or enhance your existing program? Contact us today to learn more and discover how Canopy can transform your organization’s planned giving program.