Long Island Business News quotes Tony Martignetti on strategies for your Planned Giving program.

Long Island Business News masthead

Getting a plan
By Claude Solnik

Friday, March 10, 2006

GARDEN CITY – So you want to encourage planning giving. What should you do?

Tony Martignetti, the founder and managing director of Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors in Forest Hills, Queens, said groups take different approaches to cultivating planned giving.

Some, he said, focus on winning over estate planning attorneys, accountants, financial planners and insurance brokers. That, Martignetti said, may not be the best strategy.

“People know where they want to place their planned gifts by the time they meet their professional advisors,” said Martignetti, who has organized planned giving programs for clients such as the Waldorf School in Garden City. “They want to make a planned gift though they won’t call it that to the institutions and missions they already have been supporting.”

Instead, he said, charities should start closer to home, approaching consistent donors that are at least 55 years old.

“If you don’t know ages, sweep your entire file with a strategic mailing or survey designed to elicit the information you need,” he said. “Look to your board and your major donors.”

He said, groups should include boxes people can check off in fundraising appeals.

“Are you doing consistent direct mail to market bequests?” Martignetti asked. “Does your Web site encourage planned gifts? Have you considered the appropriateness of an estate planning and charitable giving seminar for your constituency?”