Yes, you too can have a planned giving program

Are you wondering how to start a planned giving program? Are you concerned about having the time to manage another fundraising program? Here are some tips to get started in a simple, easy way. 

Bequests and other planned gifts are an important part of your organization’s future.  For those of you reading this who work in Collier County, Florida, realize that nearly 30% of our residents are over age 65 (as compared to 19% in Florida as a whole) and are likely ready to be thinking about the legacy they want to leave for future generations.

Has your organization been around for at least 5 years? Do you have donors over age 60? Then read on…

Start simple. Bequests in a will and naming your charity as a beneficiary on life insurance, IRAs and pension plans are easy to promote and easy for your donors to execute. No expertise required.

Start with your Board. Just as with annual giving, ask your board to be the leaders in including your organization in their will and joining your new recognition society.

Say “Thank you.”  A small recognition society is an ideal way to keep donors engaged and regularly express gratitude. Give your society a name that’s unique to your organization. It could be named for a founder or a generous donor who has made a planned gift. Or a word that relates to your mission in a meaningful way.

Ask. Let people know you have created a recognition society and ask them to join. Add a check box on your mailings about including the organization in a person’s will or estate plan. You may already have planned gift donors that you don’t know about!

Talk about the impact. Tell people what a bequest will do for your charity. Provide food or shelter? Conserve land? Educate a child?

Have more questions? Contact me – the first consultation is always free.


About Susan Suarez

I am a nonprofit management and fundraising consultant. I have 30 years experience in the philanthropic sector including senior level positions in management, fundraising and grantmaking. I started consulting in 2003, working with local nonprofits and with community foundations nationally. My experience as Executive Director of Eden Autism Services Florida, President of the Community Foundation of Collier County, Vice President of Marketing and Development for the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, and Development Director for the American Red Cross in Palo Alto, CA provides a deep background in philanthropy and management to benefit my clients.
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