Grappling With Growth
When local clubs started to call the national office to ask what a charitable remainder trust was or how to handle planned-giving requests, BGCA put together an official planned-giving program and discovered the national office had to teach clubs how to set up these programs, and also help them close the deals.
In 2003, the program was tested at clubs in Los Angeles County and helped the local clubs close $1 million in planned-giving gifts the first year.
In 2004, in response to strong positive feedback from local clubs, BGCA hired a national planned-giving director, along with five regional planned-giving officers.
“The long-range plan for this program called for a planned-giving director in BGCA’s five regions, to provide hands-on consulting for clubs,” Aschermann says.
In 2005, BGCA received seven planned gifts at the national level with an estimated expectancy of $7.8 million, compared to 163 local gifts with an estimated expectancy of $16.8 million.
BGCA’s planned-giving strategy also includes the establishment of a nationwide deferred-giving society, called The Heritage Club, at every local organization. Local donors will be recognized nationally for their contributions to local clubs.BGCA employees also can enroll in the nonprofit’s employee-giving program, which raises approximately $170,000 annually, Aschermann says.
On the Web
BGCA will continue bolstering its online-giving program, which includes a Web site revamp, an annual e-mail appeal, and distribution of a quarterly newsletter to 20,000 people.
“For a totally passive Web site, it’s been very successful, especially the last holiday season. However, our goal is to get more aggressive and proactive on the Internet and with e-mail fundraising to reach donors going forward,” Aschermann says. “We’re going to freshen it up and try to make it more interactive.”
Currently, donors can find out basic information about individual and planned giving, and can either make a donation online or request more information. In 2005, 623 gifts totaling $116,500 were made via the BGCA Web site, up from 430 gifts totaling $78,600 in 2004. The average donation in 2005 was $187, up from $183 in 2004.