The most important thing you, as a fundraising professional, need to know when it comes to planned giving is you just need to start, and to do that, you need the confidence to be fearless. Below are six components to gaining a fearless gift planning state of mind by eliminating all of the concerns most fundraising professionals have when they start thinking about planned giving:

Have confidence in what you’re doing. Ask lots of questions and be curious. Know that 93 percent of all planned gifts are beneficiary-type gifts, so that’s really all most nonprofits need to focus on. You will have many conversations with a donor, so don’t feel pressured to have all the answers.

Set some reasonable parameters about what you’re going to do. Remember, it’s about the vehicles, not the donors. Determine what gifts you will accept, make it easy for the donor to make the gift and promote it.

Have a growth mindset. Do your homework and don’t become complacent. Continuously evaluate and enhance for results.

Develop a purpose-built planned giving toolkit so you have information about the most likely planned gifts within arm’s reach.

Cultivate constituents. These can include cultivated legacy society members, previous donors, individuals who have asked about planned gifts and who have responded to outreach and individuals at a certain age with a pattern of consistent annual giving.

Continue robust stewardship. Develop a legacy society with a name important to your organization and keep in regular communication with planned giving donors.


To learn more about how we can help with our planned giving service, contact Kelly Grattan or Greg Wilson.