Planned Giving in the Small Shop – A Checklist

It is challenging and rewarding to be the sole person responsible for the multi-faceted development program of a small nonprofit that seeks maximum diversity in revenue streams. However, in order for an organization to grow and attract gifts at higher levels, a planned giving program is essential.

Focus by putting the basics in place and build toward creating a larger program as a time and results warrant. Determine how to start a planned giving program employing existing agency staff, e.g., the chief financial officer and or executive director, volunteer leaders, such as board members who are tax and estate attorneys or CPA’s, and outside counsel who can help define policies and best practices from other similarly situated agencies.

Define the scope of the program and determine which gift options to offer. Perhaps, you might initiate the program and limit the options to bequests and charitable gift annuities. Develop gift acceptance policies as well as donor tracking and recognition systems. Explore and obtain planned giving software such as PGCalc or Crescendo.

Work your way through this checklist of initial action items:

___ Take a seminar on planned giving basics
___ Mobilize the organization’s appropriate human resources
___ Secure pro bono legal counsel
___ Retain a planned giving consultant
___ Determine which planned gift options to offer
___ Evaluate and select planned giving software
___ Establish gift acceptance and gift-crediting guidelines
___ Create case for planned giving support differently focused than the agency’s general case
___ Market the options to relevant segments of your donor list

If you want to receive a marketing checklist for planned gifts, send me an email by clicking here with your name and organization’s name and I will send it to you by return email.