Planned Giving

A Stronger Impact – Our New Video

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Midsized and small nonprofits need sustainable funding to make a stronger impact, which can be achieved through well developed major gift strategies and proper grant compliance/management. Our latest video emphasizes the following key points regarding this issue: 1) small and midsized nonprofits cannot afford to do business as usual becuase the nonprofit climate is changing.  The Urban Institute reported that the number of nonprofit organizations rose twenty-five percent (25%) between 2001 and 2011, from 1,259,764 to 1,574,674.  There are more nonprofit organizations today than ever, which means there is stronger competition for limited funding; 2) Small and midsized nonprofits must diversify their funding mix to include sustainable and variable funding.  Variable funding is funding that is uncertain, whereas sustainable funding resulting from a well-executed planned giving program is predicable and stable.  Nonprofit organizations need both types of funding to be successful and grow;  3) By implementing the right funding strategies and engaging in proper grant management/compliance smaller nonprofit could make even a stronger impact.

Watch our new video and send us your comments at info@scottpractice.com.

JUNE 2015 MEET & GREET LUNCHEON

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At last, we are scheduled to have a June Meet & Greet Luncheon to get to know each other better. We have been working hard in organizing the details of the event and are very excited about having this time to listen to a great speaker.  We are bringing in Steve Beecham who will talk about why we need to deepen our professional and social relationships and how we can go about accomplishing this task. We thought Steve’s message is an excellent fit because major gift fundraising is primarily about relationships.  Although it is true that we have many wonderful ways to communicate and remain in touch with our friends, family and professional acquaintances, how much do we use social media as a crutch? Steve is going to address relationship building the old fashion way, and we cannot wait to hear his message. The event is also going to take place at the beautifully restored and historic Atlanta Women’s Club -The Wimbish House. The ambiance of the historic home is just stunning and the home itself is full of great history.  All in all, we believe it is going to be a nice event and a great way to share more about who we are while learning more about our attendees in the nonprofit sector.  By the way, we also would like to extend a special invitation to our blog readers. If you live in Atlanta and enjoy reading our blog, please come join us.  You will need to send us an e-mail at info@scottpractice.com and ask to be placed on our Blog RSVP list.  Unfortunately, space is limited for the event, so we cannot accommodate everyone, but hope to meet some of you who wish to join us.  Finally, specific details regarding the event can be found by visiting http://majorgifts.scottpractice.com.

HOW TO ENCOURAGE DONORS TO MAKE ENDOWMENT GIFTS

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Despite today’s technologically inclined society, many clients of our estate planning practice do not use e-mail or even a computer. This is why it is ideal to mail, from time to time, a compelling handwritten letter to faithful and consistent donors. These less technologically savvy individuals are possibly more receptive to the development of an endowment and the prospects of leaving a legacy. Hence, a customized message that addresses key aspects of your endowment program may generate interest from those who consistently give, but have never been personally approached by the nonprofit organization. The more you can customize the letter with information unique to the prospective endowment donor, the more effective the letter will be. An example of a customizable letter is as follows:

Dear Donor Name:

We received your last contribution of $_________, which has helped us tremendously. We gratefully appreciate your generosity and consistent support of our programs. The steadfast support we receive from donors like you has enabled us to reach important milestones such as …(list a few examples).  But, so much more needs to be done to not only meet dynamic challenges which lie ahead, but also achieve sustainable organizational growth over the next ten to twenty years.

The future foundation of our organization rests upon how well we plan for tomorrow. Despite the temptation to solely focus our efforts on immediate programing needs, we know that financial stability and viability of our organization rests upon future planning. One way we address the future is though our special endowment program. If you have ever dreamed about leaving a family legacy, our endowment program may be a perfect way to fulfil this desire. We encourage you to talk with our planned giving advisor about the possibility of making an endowment gift through your will or other estate planning device.

Sincerely,

President of …

To learn about how we help nonprofit organizations with their major gift programs go to www.scottpractice.com.

Starting a Planned Giving Program? Avoid These Common Mistakes

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1. Poor Donor Cultivation

Planned Giving provides a unique opportunity for the organization to build a foundation of support from donors who share a connection with the organization’s mission. However, leadership must develop a clear strategy concerning how they will build and sustain donor relationships. Planned gifts generally materialize when there are concentrated efforts to cultivate existing and new relationships.

2. Not Investing in Donor Research

In the long run, the dividends an organization receives from its planned giving efforts can make a significant impact. The planned giving program can also be the difference that keeps the doors open when other funding sources fall short. However, planned giving is an investment of time, and donor research is one of the necessary time commitments. The organization must take the time to research and educate a large pool of prospects.

3. Lack of Program Visibility

Everyone in the nonprofit organization must be on board with promoting planned giving opportunities. The nonprofit’s planned giving program should be mentioned to existing and prospective donors at every function, on the organization’s website, in every donor newsletter, and during every donor visit.  If the nonprofit organization does not champion its planned giving program, no one else will.

4. Lack of Technical Knowledge

Planned gifts are generally substantial and formulated through complex estate planning arrangements. It is important that staff members receive proper training and development or hire outside consultants to assist with the technical aspect of the planned giving program.   Planned giving staff members should receive training on estate planning, financial planning and federal income taxation in order to present themselves confidently before prospective donors.

5. Unreasonable Expectations

Planned giving is a means to achieve a better financial future for the organization. Planned giving is about the future, not the present. Leadership must approach planned giving from a different mindset. Leadership must accept the reality of not seeing a payoff from its efforts for a long time, possibly years. However, because of the expected longevity in receiving a planned gift, the organization can set higher acceptance thresholds. For instance, the organization may require a certain dollar minimum or value before it accepts a certain type of gift. The longer the horizon before the charity receives the gift, the higher the minimum donation requirement.

For more information on establishing a planned giving program, contact us at info@scottpractice.com.