3 Reasons Why Nonprofits Are Overlooking Planned Giving Opportunities
In her book, “Philanthropy Revolution,” Lisa Greer detailed her story about how her family became wealthy overnight and her subsequent difficulties in getting nonprofits to accept her major gifts. Those difficulties stemmed from her gifts being untraditional. One donation she detailed was unsolicited — offered without “the ask” — and originated from Greer — resulting in a nonprofit calling her husband to confirm he was aware of the gift.
Planned giving is traditionally based on two data points: the donor’s age (55 and older) and capacity (more than $1 million). However, Giving DNA’s Dawn Galasso cited those as the “most terrible predictors of planned giving” from a data perspective in a recent NonProfit PRO webinar, “Does Planned Giving Need a Lifesaver.”
Here are three discussion points that show nonprofits may be overlooking planned giving candidates.
Most people in the U.S. write their wills between the ages of 45 and 55.
Therefore, if you’re waiting until donors in your database are older than 55 to even start a conversation about planned giving, you may have already missed your opportunity.
“People don’t rewrite their will no matter how much you want them to rewrite their will,” Galasso, Giving DNA’s vice president of technology sales, said. “It’s a little morbid. It’s expensive, and so the likelihood is not very great that people will rewrite their will.”
In addition, wealthy individuals in their 20s and 30s are already writing their wills.
“When you have a major liquidation of an event, you are instructed by your lawyers, business people, whatever, to write a will,” Greer said. “Doesn’t matter how old you are. … These are people who have a lot of money, want to do the proper thing with it, and they are told, at age 25 — if that’s when their liquidation event happens — they’re told to go write a will. We should be aware of that.”
Most donors are planned giving candidates.
The donors you might not suspect could actually be your next planned giving success story. Their only major gift to your organization could be in the form of a planned gift. Galasso found a similar missed opportunity for nonprofits in Greer’s story.
“Because of traditional ways that planned giving strategies are built, she was never talked to in that way [about planned giving] because the data that informs these decisions up to this point has been wrong,” Galasso said.
The greatest transfer of wealth is coming.
Planned giving strategies have traditionally ignored younger generations, but they’re often involved in guiding their parents’ philanthropic endeavors. And those parents’ accumulated wealth will soon shift to their offspring. On the other hand, Greer is an example of someone who is first-generation wealthy. Clay Buck, a fundraiser and consultant, noted, for these reasons, typical wealthiness indicators shouldn’t be a precursor for someone to be a planned giving candidate.
“These potential donors may not flag on a wealthy screening and they may not show up as high value real estate,” he said. “We don’t necessarily know.”
To learn more about planned giving strategies, watch the webinar here.