NEW JOB!! Development Assoc-Corp/Fdn Rltns & Planned Giving, XXXXX University, Somewhere, USA (bit.ly link omitted)
I’ve got 4 reasons why pairing Planned Giving with other fundraising responsibilities hurts your PG program:
- The “other” has shorter deadlines. Whatever it’s paired with, the other fundraising responsibility will have more immediate deadlines, like in the example above. That means PG doesn’t get the attention it needs. Promotion is ignored and relationships aren’t cultivated. The worst combination I’ve seen is with annual fund. In the fourth quarter, the goals are weekly. How much PG do you think gets done in those three months–and the hectic planning leading up to them?
- The “other” yields cash sooner. A planned gift nearly always means cash to your nonprofit at the death of the donor. The exceptions are IRA rollovers and the rare charitable lead trust. Take the annual fund pairing. Cash comes in the door often within weeks of a solicitation, and certainly that year. You can wait decades for money to come from the planned gift. If the fundraiser is evaluated on money raised in the year, will PG get much attention? The answer to this is balanced and sophisticated performance evaluation criteria. I haven’t seen it for split-job fundraisers.
- The administration deceives itself. Having declared Planned Giving to be in someone’s title, the administration and board are satisfied they’ve “got Planned Giving covered.” But because it gets short shrift (see 1 and 2 above), PG isn’t covered. It’s largely ignored.
- PG never gets its equivalent share of the title. If it’s half the title, as in Director of Major and Planned Gifts, it won’t get 50% of the fundraiser’s attention and time. I once saw “Director of Annual Fund, Foundation Relations and Planned Giving” at a college. That’s silly, for the reasons above.
I don’t presume every organization can afford an employee devoted to Planned Giving. Such a presumption would also be silly. But expectations must align with reality. I see gross misalignment, because administrators and boards don’t recognize the jealous side of Planned Giving.