Making Planned Giving Work For You
Planned giving strategy tips for every organization
Lawrence Henze,J.D.,Managing Director,Blackbaud Analytics
“Golden Age of Philanthropy “
Americans will transfer at least $41 trillion between 1998-2052,according to a study 1 by the
Social Welfare Research Institute at Boston College.At least $6 trillion of that funding will be
bequests to charity,according to authors Paul Schervish and John Havens,who wrote that “a
golden age of philanthropy is dawning.”
With so many philanthropic dollars up for grabs,nonpro ﬁts need to position themselves to
capture a share of the wealth.Research from the National Committee on Planned Giving 2 shows
that although 42 percent of Americans have wills,only about nine percent have included charities.
But once charities are included,they stay:97 percent said they had not revoked a charitable
provision.An additional 14 percent of those surveyed said they had considered including a
charitable bequest in their wills even though no nonpro ﬁt has asked them to do so.This leaves
a largely untapped market.
About Planned Giving
Planned giving,once called deferred giving,refers to any charitable gift that requires more
thought and planning to execute than the average donation.Planned giving has traditionally been
de ﬁned as the gift that an individual makes near the end of his or her lifetime.There are many
kinds of planned gifts,from simple bequests in a will or an estate plan,to annuities,charitable
remainder trusts,charitable lead trusts,pooled income,life insurance and life estates.
Nonpro ﬁts often have trouble securing planned gifts.Why?The answer generally boils down to
four basic factors:targeting the wrong prospects,sending the wrong appeal,asking too late and
soliciting planned gift prospects for major gifts instead so the organization can get the money
Many charities assume that their major gift donors will be their best prospects for planned gifts.
When these solicitations fail,organizations are left with the impression that planned giving is
just not right for them.Other organizations send broad-based planned giving mailings to older
Developing a successful planned giving program can be a complex undertaking.But it is one that is well worth the trouble.
Extensive research has shown that planned giving is about lifestyles and loyalty,not wealth.Many organizations still think they
have to ﬁnd the millionaires in their database to secure planned gifts.The truth:everyone in your annual fund program has
the potential to be a planned giver.This means you have more control over the process than you think.Equipped with solid
information and the right marketing strategy,your organization can build a successful planned giving program.
Making Planned Giving Work for You
“Golden Age of Philanthropy ” …………1
About Planned Giving …………………….1
What Makes a Planned Gift Donor ……2
Using Research to Identify
Your Best Prospects ………………………..3
Using Marketing to Reach Out to
Your Best Prospects ………………………..4
Appendix A:Types of Planned Gifts …..6
1 Millionaires and the Millennium:New
Estimates of the Forthcoming Wealth Transfer
and the Prospects for a Golden Age of
Philanthropy ,by Paul G.Schervish and John
J.Havens.Social Welfare Research Institute,
Boston College,Boston,MA,October 1999.
2 Planned Giving in the United States 2000:
A Survey of Donors .National Committee on