Friday, December 17, 2010

Long-term Funding

A question for some of my friends and colleagues out there in the non-profit sector...

I saw this article recently, and was captured. I wondered what kind of success any of you have had in implementing such practice in the local church, and if anybody has templates of bequests.

Planned gifts are the pinnacle of donations. They represent a donor's ultimate desire to support a nonprofit organization. Essentially, a planned gift is any donation that is planned in advance, including bequests, annuities, trusts, life insurance and more.

Bequests are the most common planned gift. Typically, a bequest can be included in a will as a particular amount of money, a percent of the total estate, or a contingent gift that depends on certain circumstances.

Here are three simple ways to promote planned giving for your nonprofit organization.

1. Remember Us In Your Will. The easiest way to solicit bequests is to include "Remember us in your will" in your newsletter. Don't be afraid or timid about including this information. Other organizations are doing it and if you don't, you are missing the boat.

2. Provide some sample text for a bequest in your newsletter or on your website. It will make planned giving easier for some donors and at the very least, should help spark ideas for those who are interested in leaving your organization in their will.

3. Use prewritten materials. There are companies out there that write, design, and publish planned giving materials that you can add your logo to and give to your donors. The Stelter Company and The Sharpe Group are two great examples. You can get help with planning, internet-based solutions, and more, so it's worth your time to check them out.

Have some professional volunteers at the ready to help your donors make their planned gift happen. While most donors have their own advisors, offering your donors the names of financial, tax, and legal professionals who can help them can take you far.

Want more practical tips and ideas for successful fundraising? Get the twice-monthly "Bright Ideas for Fundraising" at

Sandy Rees is a nonprofit fundraising coach and speaker who shows small nonprofit organizations how to raise more money, gain more supporters, and strengthen their Boards.

(c) Sandy Rees, CFRE

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