Tag Archives: giving by will

There Is No Shortcut To Getting Planned Gifts

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Lim, Creative Commons license
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Lim, Creative Commons license


Planned Giving is soliciting gifts from estate and retirement plans, and there’s no way to close them quickly. I’ve seen suggestions to the contrary lately and I sternly disagree.

There are plenty of quick (and cheap!) ways to promote Planned Giving. Here are a dozen:

  • Put a sidebar in your next newsletter to promote giving by will
  • Drop a buck slip in your next mailing about giving by will—or IRAs for those over 70 1/2
  • As you promote IRA giving, use the December 31 deadline to create urgency
  • Send an email blast to your board about the IRA deadline
  • Drop in a buck slip that tells the short story of someone who gave by will or IRA
  • Planning your annual report? Put in a sidebar to encourage planned gifts
  • Keep these sidebars short! No more than 125 words
  • At your next event, put in two (literally) sentences about giving by IRA by 12/31
  • The second sentence is, “Give us a call if you’d like to know more.” As the calls come in, refer to my IRA article linked above.
  • Planning your year-end mailings? Squeeze this check-off onto the reply card: “I’d like to know more about including you in my will.”
  • Make space for this check-off too: “I’ve included you in my will or other estate plan.” Remember to thank your new donor!
  • For the flap on all your reply envelopes, a new check box: “Send me info about including you in my will.”

My fast promotion ideas will not get you gifts fast.

Nothing will.

Planned gifts are part of your prospects’ large plans for the future. You don’t get into those plans from an email blast. You might get into them from six email blasts, spaced appropriately.

Want more ideas for Planned Giving promotion?

Get Going On Planned Giving from GuideStar
6 article, year-long Planned Giving series from GuideStar (just as relevant now as it was in 2010)
7 Tips For Small Shop Planned Giving from Claire Meyerhoff
8 Tips To Get Your Planned Giving Going from Karen Signoracci Suero

Planned gifts take a lot of time to close because lots of personal factors are in play. What would it take for you to put a charity in your will—alongside your spouse, children and grandchildren?

Don’t confuse—or let others confuse you about—quick promotion and quick gifts. The former is eminently doable in Planned Giving.

Quick gifts? Ignore the hype. They’re impossible in Planned Giving.