A Planned Giving Program is More Relevant Than Ever

by Andy Eber, PRG Senior Associate

Many nonprofits are just beginning a new fiscal year. Agency leaders are navigating the ever-changing COVID landscape and having survived the worst (we hope) of the pandemic, everyone is acutely aware of the need for financial reserves and revenue stability.

It may seem counterintuitive that, in the midst of such change, we at PRG believe that August 2021 may be the BEST time to reactivate or launch your Planned Gifts program. In fact, we suggest that there have been few other moments in the past fifty years when a Planned Giving program had a greater chance of success than now. Here’s why:

  • Donor conversations

When it became apparent in March 2020 that sheltering in place would not be a passing phenomenon, PRG urged our clients to double-down on contacts with their donors. Folks were stuck at home, contemplative, lonely and wondering how the charities they supported were coping and continuing to serve through those dark months. It proved to be a perfect time to talk to key supporters and those conversations, according to our post-COVID survey (insert link), yielded a significant increase in Major Gifts among 66 of the 88 respondents. Your donor relationships may have never been as strong or as personal as they are today and a deep relationship is the basis of sound gift planning.

  • Getting one’s affairs in order

Anxiety, spurred by the pandemic caused many to confront one’s mortality and take stock of estate arrangements. Estate Planning attorneys report that since March of 2020, calls from their clients to create or revise wills have increased by 50-80% over previous periods. Your donors may be more focused on changing their wills or creating new estate plans now than in any time in the past. Since 90+% of Planned Gifts you’ll receive will be bequests, having your organization front-of-mind when your donor is creating or amending their estate plan is key to being included in those plans.

  • Inflated net worth

While many suffered financial hardships during the past 18 months, other have experienced a phenomenal increase in their portfolios. From July 2018 to July 2021, the Dow Jones average grew by nearly 43%. This growth in assets has spurred some to explore gift planning strategies as a means of decreasing their tax obligations. A Planned Giving program with provisions for deferred (“Legacy”) gifts, provides your donors with attractive ways to contribute now AND in the future.

  • Massive wealth transfer

Each year an increasing number of the baby boomers are passing away, resulting in what a recent study by Boston College described as a record $59 trillion dollar wealth transfer to their heirs. At the nexus of this wealth transition is Planned Giving that enables donors to give much more than they ever could during their lifetime, now with added tax advantages. Because most wealth transfer occurs at the time of death, a robust Planned Giving program is the smartest way to put your organization in position to benefit from this phenomenon.

The best time to have begun a Planned Giving program was 25 years ago but the second-best time is now. Whether you’re starting from scratch or simply reactivating a stalled or informal Planned Gifts effort, PRG’s handy 7 Step Guide to Successful Planned Giving can allow you to take advantage of these trends and begin to build a substantial and predictable revenue stream from these often-overlooked gifts.

Contact PRG at info@partnershipresourcesgroup.com for the Guide and Consultation on getting started with Planned Giving. We look forward to connecting with you.

Photo Cred by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash