The Cost of NOT Doing Planned Giving

The cost of NOT doing Planned Giving
photo credit: JMR_Photography via photopin cc

What does it cost your charity to not have a Planned Giving program that promotes gifts in estate and retirement plans?

It costs you stronger relationships. When donors include you in their long-term plans, they’re putting you alongside husbands, wives, children and grandchildren. Among the bequests for loved ones, there’s a gift for your organization. 

That’s a pretty special relationship and a lot can come from it, as I suggest below.

Depending on how far you go with Planned Giving, perhaps into offering charitable gift annuities, donors will be counting on you to pay them income for life. They trust you that much. That’s a strong bond.

But you need not go that far into PG to feel the love from donors. Having a program that only encourages gifts by will gets you deeper, stronger relationships.

It costs you endowment growth. Many planned gifts are unrestricted. I routinely encourage clients to put as much of that undesignated revenue as possible into creating or growing an endowment. 

As you build that fund–by spending no more than its earned income each year–you’re assured of a steady, budget-ready stream of endowment revenue annually. (Well, “assured” is relative. Endowment funds are not guaranteed to have gains every year. It depends on how they’re invested.)

It costs you growth in other giving. It is common for Planned Giving donors to increase their giving in other ways, especially to your annual appeal. They feel the stronger relationship and want to show their love.

Sometimes, planned gift discussions result in outright gifts. I see it about 10% of the time. Donors get so moved by the potential good their gift can do that they decide to make their gift immediate, forgoing the gift they intended for their will or other estate plan.

It costs you fundraising ambassadors. Another example of planned gift donors showing love. Many act as willing spokespeople, encouraging others to give to your organization. 

They can sign a letter or an email or stand up at a lunch. I’ve witnessed testimonials that moved rooms full of potential donors to tears. 

Donors are so much more compelling than us pros. 

Sometimes, you just have to ask. Sometimes, they’ll act on their own.

It costs you time with elder folks. I love the company of older people. Don’t deny yourself the joy. I bared my heart in “I Love Planned Giving.” 

Clearly, I’m not objective about Planned Giving. I love it and I’m a proud evangelist!

Think about starting a Planned Giving program. I’d hate to see you take on these costs. They’re so unnecessary.  

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