The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Planned giving marketing that baffles me.

with 2 comments

I should probably start a category of posts that discuss things about planned giving marketing that baffle me.  I’ve already touched on the lack of cover letters with newsletters and the fact that some organizations don’t even call their legacy society members once a year.  I submit as an addition to the list the fact that many organizations spend what I consider to be an inordinate amount of time on complex gifts rather than emphasizing the simplest gifts a donor can make and, I might add, the types of gifts that are most commonly made.

Maybe CRUTs and CLTs are the most interesting types of gifts planners can work on and I’m sure that’s true for the lawyers in our profession, but for those of us advising nonprofits on how to broaden their pool of legacy donors and increase income from planned gifts, spending valuable money and real estate (I mean space in a newsletter or brochure) on rare gift types seems to me to be counter-productive.

The webinar I wrote about yesterday was a good example of this.  Although the speakers made passing mention of bequests and spent some time on stock gifts, the majority of time was spent on CRTs, CRATs, CLTs and life estate gifts with a term of years.  Even in a changed environment, these types of gifts are only relevant for a very small segment of our donors.

Why, then, and here’s the thing that baffles me, don’t we spend more time talking about the easiest gifts to make:  bequests, gifts of life insurance and gifts from retirement accounts? All three are due at death and thus require no outright cash to make and, in the case of gifts of life insurance and retirement benefits, only require the donor to complete a change of beneficiary designation form to execute.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

September 29, 2009 at 11:38 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Very good observations about marketing p-g vehicles; let’s remember that lawyers (and CPA’s, trust pro’s,etc.) are technicians, not marketers. They craft their work through processes, not people. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course; they are skilled professionals and are absolutely essential in the overall planning, but keep them away from the microphone and video-cam.

    steffan cress

    September 30, 2009 at 7:57 am

  2. There is obviously a lot to know about this. There are some good points here.

    Bill Bartmann

    October 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm

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