Craziness you say, that would never happen? Well, it might not be $11M but it could be $1M or $1.5M or $50,000. Please tell me more you say. I offer two words:
Yes, you read that right, planned giving. Two stories illustrate the potential impact of planned gifts.
- Did I hear you correctly, did you say $1.5M?
One quiet day when I was a DoD at a nonprofit the phone rang. It was a local attorney calling to inform me that our nonprofit was one of the beneficiaries listed in the will of one of his recently deceased clients. Receiving the occasional gift in a will was not unusual but the next part was — the attorney said that the potential gift would be as much as $1.5M.
I sat in stunned amazement. Fearing seeming unprofessional I did not ask the question which was racing through my mind “Did I hear you correctly, did you say $1.5M?”
I had heard correctly as proven by paperwork, several additional conversations with the attorney and checks which arrived as portions of the estate were settled. In fact, the gift was several thousand dollars more than the original estimate.
What did that very generous gift accomplish? It helped bolster a fund designed to help elders who through no fault of their own found themselves unable to pay for healthcare. Now that’s lasting impact!
- The little mission that could
This story comes from Data Driven Nonprofits penned by Steve MacLaughlin from Blackbaud. In a chapter about nonprofits that have a growth mentality, Steve speaks about a small nonprofit which began to use data to grow both annual and major giving.
Eventually, the organization hired a planned giving staff member. Again there was a focus on using data to identify prospective planned giving donors. As a result of using data and direct mail to market planned gifts the planned giving officer has been so busy that she can hardly keep up with visits.
What’s the potential value of that future giving? It could be as much as $11M or even $12M dollars.
What are your takeaways?
- We are in a golden age of potential for planned giving – check out this post about legacy giving.
- Planned giving does not have to be difficult — see this piece with a link to Words that Work, by Dr. Russell James.
Sophie is the President of i5 Fundraising where she serves as a teacher, coach, and consultant. Her teaching activity includes courses which are part of Penn State’s two all online certificate programs in fundraising (one graduate and one undergraduate).