Bequests have been increasing over the past five years growing by a total giving of 8%. Many nonprofits are afraid of planned giving and would like to skip the whole concept and just maintain their annual and campaign giving. Why, because they are afraid of trying something new or they don’t have any staff that is trained or interested in planned giving. It is not necessary to have an elaborate or sophisticated planned giving program but there are avenues that are not all that difficult to navigate with your staff.
Asking an investor to consider a bequest is no different than an asking for a campaign gift. A bequest is asking your investor to consider leaving a gift in a Will which gives your staff the opportunity to discuss how committed an investor is to your organization. The opportunity is to explain why additional funds would be needed in the future. Currently only 5% of investors are naming a charity in their Will and about a third indicate they would consider including a charitable gift in their Will.
Simply marketing planned giving to your investors will not generate additional funds for your organization. If possible find a staff member who would be interested in learning about planned giving as well as talking to your attorney who might be able to assist your staff person in understanding how planned giving works. Once you start obtaining interest in planned giving, consider creating a legacy component for those investors that are interested in learning more about planned giving or have already indicated they are making a bequest.