Launch Your Planned Giving Program Forward

By Brenda Ray Scott, CFRE

If you are like the rest of us Development Professionals, you may be thinking – “How can I possibly work in Planned Giving when there is so much urgency around keeping my current supporters and attracting new ones?” My question to you is, “Why not?”

Integrating elements of making a planned gift into your communications is essential to building and cultivating the interest of your current supporters and the next generation of supporters. As a part of a regional conference I recently attended, I heard from two speakers whose presentations highlighted the importance of influencing the current and next generation of supporters. One of those speakers, Dien Yuen, JD, LLM, CAP, AEP and Chief Executive Officer of Daylight Advisors shared that, “$84.4 trillion will be transferred between 2021 and 2045. 86% is expected to go to heirs, while the remainder will go to charity.” Even those of us who are not accountants recognize that the remaining 14% of that $84.4 trillion is $11.76 trillion is a considerable amount of funding that would go a long way to furthering our cause (or causes).

You may be asking what this statistic has to do with you and your work with diversifying your revenue. It has everything to do with that work. One of the great challenges facing charitable organizations is ensuring that they have devoted resources – if nothing else staff time – to communicating to a supportive community the organization’s ability to accept and manage a gift of assets now and in the future.

One of the crucial pieces of communication that you can add to your communications strategy is to talk about leaving a legacy through a planned gift e.g., a gift of assets such as a bequest or insurance policy. Have you reminded your older supporters that your organization can accept gifts made from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA)? According to the Internal Revenue Service, as of November 17, 2022, “IRA owners age 70½ or over of their option to transfer up to $100,000 to charity tax-free each year.

These transfers, known as qualified charitable distributions or QCDs, offer eligible older Americans a great way to easily give to charity before the end of the year. Moreover, for those who are at least 72, QCDs count toward the IRA owner’s required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year.” Is this information on your website?

And very much related to this discussion, is the value of building awareness with Gen X and Millennial children of your older supporters who can potentially influence their ‘elders’ in making these types of gifts.

At our Small Shop Quick Start session on January 24, 2024, we’ll explore the dynamics of the Wealth Transfer, increasing awareness of types of gifts through communication, and other expense-neutral elements of giving your small shop planned giving program a “Quick Start”! Register here

(Brenda Ray Scott, CFRE, is Principal at Adept Diva Consulting Fundraising & Public Relations)