Eight Steps to Launching a Planned-giving Program
5) Design a simple (and inexpensive) lapel pin that will be given to everyone who has named your organization in their will (or established some other planned-gift arrangement, but start with bequests). Name the recognition society you have just created for someone who helped in the past. Ask your planned-giving chair to make a bequest provision and to ask fellow board members to do so also. In time, this will result in substantial gifts.
6) Look back over the past few years and make a list of board members and supporters who have died. Use the list as a reminder that your organization needs a will and bequests program. Once you have an identifiable bequest program, you’ll be ready to expand to promote other arrangements such as gift annuities, charitable trusts, life insurance policies (usually existing ones), retirement funds and houses.
7) Establish a simple, month-by-month time line of what you want to accomplish and by when. List only those activities you can actually accomplish with 5 percent or 10 percent of your time given to it. You were not hired as a planned-giving expert, so if you can afford it, consider hiring a consultant to help you, at least in the early stages.
8) And while it might seem laughably simplistic, success is all about planning our work and then working our plan. For an example of both a time line and a planned-giving expense budget, write or e-mail me.
This topic was originally presented at the AFP International Conference in Atlanta in April by Alexander “Sandy” Macnab, president of Chicago-based Alexander Macnab & Co. He can be reached via www.alexandermacnab.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.