Planned Giving is a Great Resource
When I mention planned giving as a component of resource development to smaller nonprofits, they generally shake their heads and say it is way too complicated for their limited staff. This may be true if they tried to offer opportunities such as a charitable remainder trust. However, any size nonprofit can create a bequest program with minimum staff time. Let me give you three reasons why your nonprofit should do this.
1. Nonprofits receive enormous sums of money from bequests. In the United States in 2008, more than $22 billion was given to charity through bequests. This fact looks even more impressive when you compare it with the fact that only $14.5 billion that was given to charities from the corporate sector.
2. The opportunity to get bequests is nearly unlimited. About 80% of people in the United States give annually to charities while less than 3% leave a bequest.
3. Recessions can be a good time to seek bequests. In difficult economic times, many donors feel that they cannot give as much as they have in the past. A bequest offers them the opportunity to feel that they are still helping your nonprofit without hurting themselves in financially challenging times.
Creating a bequest program is really simple. Once your board approves the establishment of a bequest program, you can begin advertising this in your newsletter, on your web site, and in every promotional piece you produce. That is all you need to do until someone dies and you actually receive the money. Then, it is up to your nonprofit to ensure that the bequest is used according to the wishes of the donor.
Want to learn more about Planned Giving? Join us at our next non-profit mini-conference.