Making Planned Giving Work for You

Making Planned Giving Work for You
Making Planned Giving Work for You
In March, 2005, more than 900 nonprofit professionals registered to attend the Blackbaud-
Gift Types.........................................1
sponsored Webcast, “Making Planned Giving Work for You,” and several hundred sent questions
Donor Behavior ................................2
during or following the seminar. Our host, Lawrence Henze, has responded to the most
Planned Gift Marketing ....................2
frequently asked questions below.
Getting Started ................................4
Questions about the Webcast ..........5
In case you missed our seminar, please feel free to access the archives at
Gift Types
What is a charitable gift annuity?
A charitable gift annuity is an irrevocable transfer of property (e.g. securities) in exchange for
a contract to pay the donor an annuity for life. Because the value of the property exceeds the
value of the annuity, it is partially a gift to the institution.
What is a bequest?
A bequest is a provision in a will or estate plan that allocates all or part of the individual’s
estate to a designated charity.
What is a charitable remainder trust?
A charitable remainder trust is an irrevocable trust that pays a specified annual amount to
one or more people for a fixed period of years (often the life of the individual). At the end
of the term of the trust, the remaining trust assets are distributed to the charity. A charitable
remainder annuity trust provides a fixed payment; a charitable remainder unitrust pays out a
fixed percentage of the trust value each year.
Does planned giving include in-kind giving?
No. Our research into planned giving includes the gifts described above: annuities, trusts,
and bequests. Life estates are planned gifts, as are gifts of paid-up life insurance. We do not
consider a gift of life insurance that requires ongoing contributions towards the premium
amount to be a planned gift.
Why do you think the bequest is still the most common type of planned gift?
I can think of several reasons. Bequest provisions can be the simplest planned gifts to
make, and although I do not advise this strategy, may be done by the donor without legal
assistance. Second, because the institution does not need to be notified prior to being
designated as a charitable beneficiary, the donor may make the bequest and not surface
on the organization’s “radar” screen. Finally, the donor may satisfy his/her donative intent
without risking current assets or income stream — minus legal costs to draft a will, the
bequest costs the donor nothing. A bequest fits a conservative investment lifestyle.
Donor Behavior
Why do you think 80% of bequest donors do not inform the recipient of the
For the most part, these donors have been loyal contributors who favor a conservative
lifestyle. They are often humble and do not call attention to their behavior. They do not seek
recognition. Some wish to satisfy their charitable needs but not self-identify to the recipient
organization’s development staff.
Where does one find data on an individual’s credit usage?
Unless your organization offers credit cards to your constituencies, the credit behavior of
individual donors is protected by privacy laws. For analytical purposes, you may access zip+4
aggregated credit behavior; the data is averaged across the approximately ten households
that comprise zip+4 clusters in the United States.
Do planned gift donors prefer online and EFT giving or checks?
Research reveals giving by check is still preferable, but as EFT and online giving increase in
popularity, we may see a change. I suspect but cannot prove that small EFT contributors will
be valuable planned giving prospects.
What groups prefer EFT/online giving to giving by checks?
Our Blackbaud Analytics™ researchers and statisticians are researching this question.
Which planned gift vehicle is most attractive to which age prospect?
In general, annuitants are age 70+, charitable remainder trusts are 55-70 years of age, and
bequests fall into two groups: 45-60 and 65-78.
Are people promoting change of beneficiary on retirement plans in lieu of changes
to wills?
I am aware that this is happening more frequently, but have no sense of the degree of usage
in nonprofit marketing of planned gifts.
Planned Gift Marketing
Based on your experience, how effective are financial advisor sponsored seminars?
I believe these seminars are still effective as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Years ago these were more successful than now, probably because the market has become
somewhat saturated. Effectiveness is dependent on your ability to select good prospects to
invite and their willingness to attend.
How important is it to start a relationship with both child and parent to secure a
planned gift?
I do not believe this to be that important. Focus on the prospective donor.
If it is important to build a relationship with the whole family when cultivating a
planned gift, should you engage both generations via solicitations? What about
seminars targeted to family financial management?
Build the relationship with the primary prospect(s) and remain hopeful that the relationship
will grow. Do not hesitate or postpone cultivation until you are able to reach everyone…it
may never happen.
Are there special techniques that you might use to attract the new breed of
“transactional” donors that want hands-on involvement with your agency?
Although these individuals may require more “care and feeding”, their interest in involvement
relates strongly to volunteerism. Volunteerism and planned giving are strongly related.
How do you work with your direct mail office to accomplish the anniversary
Annual giving and planned giving marketing must be well coordinated if you wish to
maximize direct mail marketing for planned giving. Identifying consistent annual fund donors
by age and time-of-year-giving is a comparatively easy data mining exercise. Direct mail
practitioners (in-house) should welcome an opportunity to reduce costs while ensuring loyal
giving. External direct mail providers may rebel at fewer mailing opportunities to consistent
donors because it may reduce their success and limit their revenue (fewer pieces mailed
equals lower costs to you but lower fees for them). Remember that it is your organization,
the donors are your donors, and you wish to bond donors to your mission over the longterm. In other words, YOU call the shots.
Is there a planned giving program that you would recommend we show our donors
to help them better understand planned giving?
I would welcome suggestions from the nonprofit community. Please feel free to email us
your thoughts at [email protected] We’ll post responses on this Web page in
the future.
Can you give us an example of a message you would put in a newsletter?
This is a work in progress. We hope to publish another white paper devoted to planned
giving marketing in the future and we will let everyone subscribed to Blackbaud News know
when it is available.
What newsletter topics do you recommend?
Personally, I believe that newsletter topics should be simple, straight-forward discussions
featuring stories or testimonials of donors. Focus on one type of gift at a time and do not
ignore smaller planned gifts at the expense of mega-gifts. The majority of your readers do
not possess mega-gift potential.
Should we send our newsletter to a large target community audience or just current
Are you marketing your organization to the broader community as well? If not, I do not
believe that the expansion of your planned giving efforts to this group will be that fruitful.
10. More and more email filters, spam-blockers, etc. screen out repetitive pattern words
appearing in the subject block. What subject lines do you find success with?
I would welcome suggestions from the nonprofit community. Please feel free to email us
your thoughts at [email protected]
11. Have you heard that some states are limiting the number of solicitations nonprofits
can send?
I have not heard that some states are limiting the solicitations sent my nonprofits. I plan to
look at this, but if it is true, I cannot say that I am surprised. The industry has invited this
oversight by steadily increasing solicitations to donors, lapsed donors, and prospects for
acquisitions. Nonprofits need to take control of annual fund activities now so as to reduce or
prevent regulation of mailings.
12. Can we get a copy of the successful 114-word brochure?
There are proprietary interests in this brochure that prevent me from reprinting it here. Our
upcoming planned giving marketing paper will address this topic.
13. Would you place a planned giving brochure in the `goodie` bag to donors who
attend our black tie event?
No. I would identify the best planned giving prospects among the event attendees and
endeavor to meet and cultivate relationships with as many as possible. Perhaps planned gift
donors could be “recognized” at the event as well. Avoid the temptation to let the written
word substitute for personal conversations.
14. What do you think about integrating annual campaigning with planned giving asks?
Unfortunately, this is too deep of a subject for me to address in its entirety at this time. I
hope to include this in the white paper on planned giving marketing. In general, a wellconceived integration makes intuitive sense to me.
Getting Started
If you are a 501c3 are you eligible to receive an annuity?
You must meet the requirements for licensing in the states that you plan to seek annuity gifts.
How does one get licensed to offer a charitable gift annuity?
Please check with the state(s) in which you plan to seek these gifts.
When should an organization consider itself “prepared” to offer an annuity?
I would recommend that you seek outside counsel to assist you in this evaluation.
If we don’t have a solid annual or major gift program, should we even be
considering planned giving yet?
Yes. If you are building the foundation for a successful fundraising program, I believe you
should prepare for planned giving as well.
What if you don’t have executive buy-in on the importance of maintaining longterm relationships?
Please keep in mind that the following answer is offered without full knowledge of your
situation. The simple answer would be that you have a big problem. Long-term relationships
are the foundation of major and planned giving success. Personally, if I were faced with
this problem, and had made the effort to seek changes within the organization and very
little positive change had occurred, I would consider seeking a new position. Your current
position may not be a good match for you and your personal and professional goals. You
may contact me if you wish to discuss this in greater detail; perhaps there are additional
How important is it to have documentation of a bequest or other planned gift?
Trusts and annuities will require your knowledge and participation. As mentioned previously,
bequests do not. Many successful programs ask bequest donors to complete a gift intent
Does a successful planned giving program tend to reduce the annual fund?
I do not believe so.
Questions About the Webcast
Can I get a copy of the slides?
Yes! You can download the entire presentation, with audio, or just a .pdf file of the slides
at To request permission to republish all or part of the
presentation; please email us at [email protected]
Will you publish the results of the polls?
Lawrence Henze, managing director
of Blackbaud Analytics™, has extensive
experience in fundraising, planned giving
research and the application of predictive
modeling services to the nonprofit
Mr. Henze has 15 years of experience in
development, raising more than $125
million, primarily for higher education
institutions. During his career, he has
personally reviewed the giving histories of
more than 30,000 planned givers across the
country. He holds a BA in political science
from Carroll College in Wisconsin, and an
MA in public policy and administration and a
law degree from the University of Wisconsin
at Madison.
Mr. Henze is also a frequent speaker on
planned giving at industry conferences
including AFP International, AHP
International and APRA International.
about Blackbaud
Blackbaud is the leading global provider
of software and related services designed
specifically for nonprofit organizations. More
than 12,500 organizations use Blackbaud
products and consulting services for fundraising,
financial management, business intelligence,
and school administration. Blackbaud solutions
include The Raiser’s Edge®, The Financial
Edge™, The Education Edge™, The Patron
Edge™, Blackbaud NetCommunity™, The
Information Edge™, WealthPoint™, and
ProspectPoint™, as well as a wide range of
Can I still take the polls?
consulting and educational services. Founded in
Yes, if you view the recording of the presentation at, you
1981, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston,
can still participate in polls and view updated results.
South Carolina, and has operations in Toronto,
Ontario; Glasgow, Scotland; and Sydney,
If your question was not answered or you’d like to ask another, please feel free to write
[email protected] We look forward to hearing from you!
For more information about Blackbaud
solutions, contact a Blackbaud account
representative. In the United States and Canada,
call toll-free 800.443.9441. In Europe, call
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© March 2005, Blackbaud, Inc.
This document is for informational purposes only.
Blackbaud makes no warranties, expressed or implied,
in this summary. The information contained in this
document represents the current view of Blackbaud, Inc.,
on the items discussed as of the date of this publication.