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Bequests or Annuities?

Proactive.  Reactive.  That’s the difference between your approach to bequest marketing and other types of planned gifts.

We find gentle, but consistent ways to invite our donors to remember our organization in their will or estate plan because that’s where 85% or more of all planned gifts come from.

(I just read today about the priest who left Loras College $3.2 million – in his will.  Congratulations to them!)

Extending that invitation, reminding your donors of the impact their bequest can have, is a simple and time-effective process that everyone can do.

Other types of planned gifts, you want to be ready to respond if those opportunities arise, but they’re not gifts you need to pursue.  Your planned giving advisory council can be your “wingman” when those happen.

Charitable gift annuities are the second most popular type of planned gift.  I’m often asked, “Should we start an annuity program?”

CGA’s show a return on your investment when you have a very large database and are willing to “go all in.”  CGA’s are effective when the organization has a lot of them in play.  Not 10-12, but 500-1,000, or more.  That takes a time commitment and a database to market your annuity program to 100,000+ potential donors.

I know organizations that accept annuity contracts for $5,000.  They’re hoping for multiple engagements with that donor over time and they know they’ll receive perhaps 50% of that amount at the donor’s passing.

Bequest gifts are, on average, far larger.

Next in line are charitable remainder trusts (CRE’s) and charitable lead trusts (CLE’s).  Both are very positive to your organization but will, in virtually every case, be initiated by the donor and/or their financial advisors.  We are happy to say “Yes!” to gifts from charitable trusts but they’re not gifts we need to take the time to seek.

Look at the data.  Make your work as simple as you can.  Focus on bequest gifts for your planned giving program.

Tomorrow, the last word in our Planned Gifts Series. The true story of a whopper bequest.  How it happened, and how we brought it to fruition.

Have a good day, my friends.

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