Have you calculated total lifetime giving for your donors? Most software has this report. It is often very enlightening to you and to the donors. I have often met with donors and honored them for their total giving. It is very powerful and can lead to a gift planning conversation and commitment.
Donors rarely think about their total giving. I have had the experience of informing donors that they have given more than 20 gifts in excess of $15K. I told them how this made them essential to the organization’s mission. This has been very powerful.
It opens doors for future larger gifts. The goal of this is two-fold: increasing annual gifts and securing more planned gifts by increasing your prospect list.
Consider asking donors to key cultivation events based upon the size of their gifts, the number of their gifts and/or the total they have given to the organization over their lifetime. This will change your prospect list.
Do you have a couple who has given to a particular service in your organization for five or more years? Does their total giving equal at least $10K? It may be the perfect time to kick up their giving. Honor them for this major gift with lunch and begin to speak with them about their legacy. Let them know how a bequest of $25K or more could perpetuate their giving.
The first step is to be sure their will or retirement plan includes charities as beneficiaries. Only 8% of people have wills that leave a gift to charity. Only 4.6% of people with a bequest to charity have them realized after debts and other beneficiaries receive their inheritance. The number of attorneys who ask clients if they want to include gifts to charities in their plans remains very low. General practice attorneys with little or no knowledge of gift planning often draft wills. Prospects just say, “Leave it to my heirs.”
Many people do not know that leaving a portion of their retirement plan to charity is easy and often a wise tax decision. Heirs need to pay income tax on tax-deferred plans while not-for-profit charities get 100% of the amount. These are great conversations when meeting with a longtime donor.
The second step is to make it to the top three to five charities they will remember. If they realize how much your organization has depended upon them, in total, you could change their mindset on why leaving a gift to you is important.
SageAge welcomes the opportunity to audit your fund development office and determine ways we can increase your gift commitments. Contact Freddi.