A room full of diverse fundraising professionals representing a variety of organizations from the non-profit sector, came together to hear from some of the industry's leaders in planned giving at the Fourth National PGgrowth Planned Gift Fundraising Symposium held this autumn. An interactive day from beginning to end, the experts covered everything from marketing to prospecting and gave participants the information they required to not only get started, but also to build and grow a successful and sustainable planned giving program today!
With many valuable take-aways, the themes of relationship building and trust were reoccurring throughout the symposium. A fundraiser’s reputation in this industry is based on both qualities and it's important that these are nurtured with our planned giving donors to ensure their long-term commitment to our organization. Once this is established and strong, we must be patient as planned giving prospects will give in their own way and only when they are ready. Patience is key to securing a gift from a planned giving donor and these gifts often take years. However, charities need to be ready to accept and steward relationships with these donors once they promise a gift until it is eventually realized. Being ready, of course, means different things to different organizations but this serves as a reminder that every organization can, and should, have a planned giving program.
One thing the experts made clear was that, with our aging population and the immense transfer of wealth taking place in the next decade, this is an exciting and rewarding time to be working in planned giving. Unlike other areas of traditional fundraising, planned giving will, and should, continue to grow in each of our organizations, resulting in a steady and, ultimately sustainable, stream of income for our charities. Now is the time to be proactive and consistent with our planned giving messaging so that our donors know and understand we are committed to them and their legacy. Planned giving is a long-term investment in each donor prospect, their beliefs, their story and their overall donor journey with our organizations.
These donors are special. Some may even say that they're the everyday 'heroes' living amongst us while planning for a better future. They are bridging the gaps between today's needs and those of the future, so we should invest in getting to know these heroes, their stories, and their reasons for giving. They are making an impact on our future today and they deserve to be celebrated today. Stewardship for these donors is a very important part of their personal journey with our organizations and may even include staff, their families and professional advisors. Keep these relationships close and consistent and personal.
Each of these donors has a different relationship with our charity and this needs to be respected. Finally, we need to ask them for a legacy gift today so that their support can continue well into the future.