Resting in peace, not dead.
Between jobs, not unemployed.
Thrifty, not cheap.
Unique, not odd.
Golden years, not old age.
Euphemisms are proof of just how much the English language loves to spin.
It’s time for a spin in development. It’s time to present the possibility of Planned Giving.
Organizations faced with the stress of needing to raise funding, i.e., everyone, tend to put planned giving on the backburner.
It’s not as glamorous or exciting as events. However, planned giving is the highest return on investment a non-profit organization can make. One realized gift could double a current fund.
So, how do you get your board on board? How do you effectively communicate the need to place attention elsewhere to stakeholders?
Planned giving certainly must be an essential priority for the overall development approach. It is clear that the predicted historical wealth transfer has begun, and the next decade is critically important.
Focus on making four significant improvements in your development approach:
1. You need a clear long-term plan for the development of the ministry. It is hard to argue that people should invest the wealth they have spent a lifetime building in a school or organization if it cannot clearly articulate a 3-10 year series of steps addressed through generous giving. Form a “living” development plan.
2. Focus most on people who have the potential to give in a transformational way and improve retention of giving over the long haul. There are opportunities to re-connect donors who have given in the past and give donors ongoing opportunities to shape the future of the ministry. Select around 200 people as a priority for relationship-building efforts. Report to them on the impact of their past giving. Help them understand the impact of future giving.
3. Work to impact two primary success indicators of a giving community. First, growing the total giving through relationship building, better thanking and reporting, and clear and compelling requests make an immediate difference in the day-to-day experience of all involved in the ministry. Address the total number of long-term giving commitments. Planned giving discussions will be increasingly important. As donors understand the vision and plans and the levels of commitment it will take, explore opportunities to impact the shared future through near-term pledges and long-term planned gifts.
4. Take the first step toward growing planned giving by selecting 10-25 people to learn more about planned giving opportunities. Start a dialogue. While there are many things you could do, focus on the most impactful things you must do. Organizations that successfully “get started” with planned giving introduce selected donors to carefully vetted experts on planned giving opportunities so donors can learn about the options available to them.
Overzealous, not aggressive.
Outspoken, not bossy.
Leading people to decisions is sometimes daunting, but it is the calling God placed on you. Planned giving may seem overwhelming, but it is a challenge you can tackle.
Start today! Let me know how it helps you to keep moving forward.
You might find our Rapid Success Project tool to be helpful as you work to grow your giving this year!