Source 4: Planned Giving - 12 Steps to Success
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Source 4: Planned Giving - 12 Steps to Success


Follow these steps to begin your journey:

  1. Get motivated.
    Make an organizational decision to pursue a planned giving and donation program. Even a modest start is better than none.

  2. Sign up for basic training.
    Get informed about the general benefits and concepts behind planned giving and individual donation programs. But don’t be afraid to identify outside counsel in areas beyond your expertise.

  3. Build support.
    Promote the benefits of planned giving among your staff, volunteers, board members, and donors. 

  4. Book a retreat.
    Plan a staff and board strategic planning meeting to explore how to design a planned giving program for your organization. 

  5. Create partnerships.
    Identify local financial advisors such as trust officers, investment brokers, CPAs, tax specialists, insurance underwriters, and lawyers who specialize in planned giving. Offer to help them fulfill their clients’ charitable interests. 

  6. Compile a donor profile list.
    Ask for suggestions from staff, volunteers, board members, and other key supporters—then contact these individuals. Never underestimate a donor’s potential. Many large and small supporters can give now and in the future. If you show them how to do it with mutual benefits, they’re sure to pass the word to others.

  7. Create a structure.
    Build the foundation to support, monitor, and maintain your planned giving program.

  8. Educate.
    Use your newsletters, brochures, Web site, and other communications vehicles to educate clients, caregivers, and program supporters about planned giving and new tax laws. Ask for donations and to be remembered in peoples’ wills or trusts. 

  9. Publicize significant gifts.
    Highlight them on your Web site and in newsletters or press releases, with the donor’s permission. Host an annual recognition dinner or special event.

  10. Build a speakers’ bureau.
    Tap volunteers and board members who are well trained and versed in telling your organization’s mission, accomplishments, needs, and examples of how your services improve clients’ lives. Offer will and estate planning workshops.

  11. Invest in supporting materials.
    Line up the resources you need to identify and cultivate prospects. Items like donor screening software and educational brochures can be worth their weight in gold.

  12. Realize the benefits.
    Most important is that you and your staff are comfortable with planned giving programs. Remember that you’re helping both your organization and donors. 

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