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BOOst Your Major Gift Asks With Planned Gifts

Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons license
Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography, Creative Commons license

A strategy to improve your major gift solicitations: include planned gifts.

When you ask a prospect for a major gift, include a planned gift. It can be as simple as a bequest in the will; as middle-of-the-road as a charitable gift annuity; or as high-end complex as a charitable lead trust.

You’ll have to beat off the gifts with your broomstick!

The Planned Giving addition adds a dimension to your solicitation. Now you have more to talk about if your prospect balks at the outright ask. You can reduce the outright ask and add more to the planned gift.

It’s best if you don’t add dollar-for-dollar because the planned gift won’t mean cash to you until the donor’s death. The exception is a lead trust, but those are quite rare. Instead, add to the planned gift the future value of what you’re not getting outright. Here’s a future value calculator.

You’ll have more to negotiate around. The negotiation dance is one witch is critical after your ask.

The added planned gift can also act as a straw man. It’s harder for your prospect to turn down both the major gift and the planned gift. Gutting the planned gift out of the solicitation–like a pumpkin becomes a jack-o-lantern–makes it more likely the major gift remains intact.

The greatest success I’ve seen with this arises because you’ll have more variables in your solicitations. There’s more to talk about and listen to.

Talk half as much as you listen and you’ll have bewitching successes with your major gift solicitations.

P.S. This is part of October’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival, Major Gifts Tricks and Treats, hosted by Claire Axelrad.