For Michael Rosen, the key to a nonprofit achieving long-term sustainability is the development of a planned gift program. To help organizations move forward in their planned giving endeavour, he has written Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing.
This is not a book that will teach you how to run or staff a planned giving program. Instead, it will help you to understand the differences between donor-centered planned gift marketing and traditional marketing and will guide you in building an effective planned gift marketing program from the start.
Planned giving is simple
Okay maybe not simple, but Rosen does a good job of simplifying what many people feel is a daunting area of fundraising. He asserts that if one knows how to generate current gifts than it is not a far stretch to securing planned gifts. After all, the steps to planned giving are like every other type of fundraising: identify prospects, cultivate them and ask for the gift.
Also, he argues that because the vast majority of planned gifts are bequests, charitable gift annuities (CGA) or gifts of stock, there is no reason why all organizations cannot engage in some form of planned giving program. Under Rosen's plan, you needn't be an "expert" in all areas of planned giving, just knowledgeable of the vehicles that exist and where to call for assistance when needed.
Debunking some planned giving myths
Rosen has this to say about other myths that surround the professional practice of philanthropic planning.
Myth: All planned gifts are deferred gifts. Many resources are reluctant to commit resources to securing gifts that will take decades to be realized. However, many bequests will be realized within three to five years of commitment. Also gifts of stock or CGA's are immediately bookable assets.
Myth: Good marketing focuses on organizational needs. While it is essential for an organization to have a compelling case for support, a great marketing effort will focus on the donor.
Myth: Planned gift marketing should be passive. In other words, planned gift donors should self-identify their interest before they are asked for a gift. The reality is that those organizations that are proactive in their marketing are enjoying greater success than would otherwise be possible.
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