Starting a Planned Giving Program

In the PNNOnline (April 19, 2005) article, "Nonprofit Professionals Turn to Planned Giving to Raise Critical Funding," results of a survey by Blackbaud, Inc., a leading provider of software designed for nonprofit organizations, showed that 37% of those who registered for Blackbaud’s free online seminar "How to Make Planned Giving Work for You" found "cultivating planned gifts" to be their biggest challenge and that 68% now have a dedicated planned giving officer.  Obviously, the survey group was far from being representative of the nonprofit sector as a whole, but the article shed some interesting information.

Blackbaud CEO Robert J. Sywolski asserted that bequests account for 9% of individual giving, totaling more than $21 billion in donations.  Moreover, according to a study by Paul Schervish and John Havens of Boston College Social Research Institute, about $6 trillion of the $41 trillion expected to be transferred by baby boomers through 2052 is expected to be donated to charities.  "Planned giving is likely to be one of the vehicles through which much of these donations are made."

Planned giving is an important component of even basic development programs.  Nonprofit organizations that have not developed some sort of planned giving strategy are losing a valuable source of potential funds.  I suggest that organizations inform themselves of the basics, examine wht comparably situated organizations are doing, assess their own abilities to engage in a planned giving strategy, map out a plan, and get started.  Check the following link from the National Committee on Planned Giving:  "Starting a Planned Giving Program."