Identifying Your Planned Gift Prospects
Planned giving is a method of supporting nonprofits and charities that enable philanthropic individuals or donors to make larger gifts than they could make from their income, according to an article from PlannedGiving.com.
“Thus, by definition, a planned gift is any major gift made in lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning… Whether a donor uses cash, appreciated securities/stock, real estate, artwork, partnership interests, personal property, life insurance, a retirement plan, etc., the benefits of funding a planned gift can make this type of charitable giving very attractive to both donor and charity,” the article stated.
Nonprofits love planned gifts and most understand the success of this program is vitally important to the financial long-term health of a nonprofit. That said, how do you identify planned gift prospects?
This article from The Fundraising Authority states that a planned giving prospect is a donor who prepares in the present to donate money to a nonprofit in the future, either through a trust or will. Identifying a planned giving prospect can be tough work. Through prospect research, nonprofits can look at two types of information to seek planned giving prospects. This information consists of donor-nonprofit connections and statistical information. Variables to look for when seeking the best planned gift prospects include frequent past donations, belief in the mission, desire to make a major gift, positive interactions with the nonprofit, age, marital status, children and property ownership, according to the article.
In the article titled “How to Identify Planned Gift Prospects,” the author feels the best-planned gift prospects have traditional characteristics such as age (older), single (never married), without children, often female, history of nonprofit engagement and have appreciated property. Ways of identifying prospects include prospect identification sessions, one-on-one visits, mailings, “check-off” boxes on reply devices and segmentation of certain organization “loyal” constituent groups.
This Donor Search article helps you identify the “Where’s Waldo” factor in your planned giving prospect search. According to the article, three types of planned gift prospects are: bequest prospects, charitable remainder trust prospects and charitable gift annuity prospects. The identifying factors of planned givers are cause connectors and statistical inclinations. The article mentions that cause connectors include frequent donations, conviction in the mission, desire to make larger gifts and being positively affected by the organization’s work.
Bloomerang published this article that states that organizations love planned gifts. It also mentions that funding received from them can have a huge impact on tight budgets and that prospect research solves the problem of finding potential planned giving donors. There are three types of planned gift prospects, two of which tend to come from wealthier donors and one can come from anyone, which are charitable remainder trust prospects, charitable gift annuity prospects and bequest prospects. According to Bloomerang, three tips for identifying planned giving donors are: learn the types of planned gifts you are looking for, planned gift donors don’t have to be wealthy and look to your frequent donors. The right strategy can help transform your entire planned giving program.
In my experience, the most frequent types of planned gifts an organization should market are bequests, charitable gift annuities, stocks and charitable IRA rollovers. I also suggest that you investigate life insurance, as many individuals have existing insurance policies with cash value that you can immediately use. You can see from this blog post that many planned gift “prospects” are current donors that you have already been cultivating. I truly believe annual giving donors and major gift donors can make planned gifts. Planned giving donors can also make annual and major gifts. You need planned gifts in your revenue stream. It will take time to develop a comprehensive planned giving program, but the benefits will be well worth it. Seek to identify your planned gift prospects today using prospect research.
It is all about ROI!
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last nine years and has had the CFRE designation for the last 25 years. He has also been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals for over 35 years. He received his doctorate from West Virginia University with an emphasis in philanthropy, masters from Marshall University with an emphasis on resource development and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with emphasis in marketing/management. Currently he is executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org.