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  • Otto Reinisch

3 Secrets for (Finally) Succeeding in Planned Giving

Updated: Jan 28

In 2018, donors gave nearly $40 billion to nonprofit organizations through charitable bequests in their wills. This giving will increase over the next 25 years as baby boomers pass along nearly $48 trillion in assets to heirs and charities.


Will your organization be ready to benefit from this coming ‘tidal wave' of transferred wealth?


Planned giving success is within reach of every nonprofit organization if they know - and act on - these powerful secrets I learned along the way.


Secret 1: It’s not about planned giving

Whenever I hear, “We need to do planned giving!”, my answer almost always is the same. “No...what you need is to promote charitable bequests.” More than 90% of all ‘planned gifts’ are simple will bequests. They are among the easiest gifts for a donor to make and among the easiest gifts to secure. Start there.


Secret 2: You don’t need to be an expert

While many planned gifts require knowledge of tax code, IRS guidelines, and complicated strategies, charitable bequests are easy to understand…and to promote. All that’s required is passion for your mission, basic marketing, and an authentic donor relationship. Everyone in the organization has a role in building those relationships and it's often the board member whose work shines brightest.


Secret 3: The most meaningful decisions are not financial ones

A donor’s 'Last Will' also is their 'Last Testament', a final opportunity to answer important legacy questions. What are my most cherished values? How do I want to be remembered? Can I create a legacy that lasts? How donors distribute their assets helps to define a legacy, especially if they include gifts (bequests) to organizations whose work will perpetuate their values and beliefs.


Get Started in Planned Giving Today

My Living Legacy is an effective, affordable, and complete program for promoting charitable bequests that will help any nonprofit organization – large or small – succeed in planned giving. Its unique, values-based approach:

  • combines direct mail strategies with an interactive small-group presentation to guide prospects and donors through the entire giving process,

  • is equally effective for organizations of every size and sophistication,

  • uses your organization’s mission to help donors create their own living legacy by breathing life into the values they share with your organization,

  • engages board members in fundraising as hosts for My Living Legacy small-group presentations donors consistently rate "excellent",

  • can be customized to meet every organization's budget, size, and planned giving experience, and

  • requires little additional staff time to implement.


Learn more about My Living Legacy here or contact me to schedule a free demonstration

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