What is planned giving? There are many ways to define planned giving, and most people rightly think of the most common planned gifts: charitable bequests from wills or revocable trust agreements, or beneficiary designations of life insurance or retirement accounts. There is much more to planned giving, of course, but at its essence, planned giving means finding ways for people to make bigger, more effective gifts than they knew or thought they could make. It means addressing needs and wants, solving problems, and giving more smartly and tax-efficiently. It’s matching personal values and passions with assets and opportunities to make a difference.
As savvy fundraisers know, planned giving is a critical part of development for any charitable organization serious about serving its donors, raising more revenue, and long-term financial health. Many nonprofit development professionals and leaders realize this and know they want to or should be doing more planned gift fundraising but just don’t know where or how to start. Others who have established planned giving programs might want to improve their program or take it to the next level. Whatever your situation, GENEROWORKS™ can help.
In 2018, Americans gave an estimated $39.71 billion to charity through their estate plans, representing over 9% of all gifts to charity, and 12% of all gifts from individuals. If your organization receives more of your annual gift revenue from realized bequests than these national averages, congratulations—you already understand the value and importance of planned giving and the opportunity it presents. If your revenue from bequests is less than the national average, it’s not all bad news—you have even greater opportunity for growth. If you’re not making strong investments in your planned giving program and asking your donors for gifts from their estate plans, start today. Your donors still will make those gifts whether you ask or not…but they’ll make them to other beloved organizations who are asking.
Investments in planned giving provide great return, and GENEROWORKS™ can assist with virtually any aspect of your planned giving program and efforts. Our planned giving consulting services generally fall into the broader categories below.
Every organization or program, even a great one, has opportunity to grow and improve. Partner with GENEROWORKS™ for an assessment of your current planned giving efforts, and receive specific recommendations for what to keep doing, what to stop, and what to start. We’ll review what you have in place right now and provide a realistic evaluation of the current state of your program, as well as suggestions and recommendations for maximizing your future potential. We don’t call it an audit—who likes being audited?—and we take nonjudgmental yet matter-of-fact approach to give an opinion of what’s well in place, what’s not, and how you can get better.
Leaders of effective programs know what they’re trying to accomplish, where they want to go, and why they’re doing what they do. GENEROWORKS™ will help you develop strategies and practical plans for planned giving success. All organizations are different, and have varying strengths and resources. We recognize this, and will recommend strategies that fit your organization’s unique circumstances.
GENEROWORKS™ can provide ongoing guidance and advice on a retainer, hourly, or project basis. A monthly or annual arrangement is a valuable resource to staff, as GENEROWORKS™ provides in-person or teleconference meetings either regularly scheduled or as needed, as well as on-call help and advice to gift officers and development leaders. Consultations can cover almost any topic, including talking through options and ideas for specific donors, gift administration issues, program and tactical implementation, and tricky gift acceptance issues. Put our experience, insights, and expertise to work for the benefit of your nonprofit, staff, and supporters.
Most nonprofit development professionals have a lot of work on their plates. If you need help doing the work that needs to be done to make your program better, we’re here for you. Copywriting and editing for planned giving marketing pieces and webpages, finding third-party vendor partners, preparing gift illustrations, drafting policies and document templates, and planned giving surveys are among the services we can provide on a retainer, hourly, or project basis.
For a list of some of our areas of specific expertise, see the list of Board and Staff Training education topics.