Where There’s a Will

I made my YouTube debut this week with an appearance on The Philanthropy Show. Beverley McLain from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and I join host Louanne Walters to talk about planned giving. Louanne opens with the question posed by many nonprofit leaders: “When can we start brining in some planned giving?” The answer: right now. Here are a three highlights from our discussion that are helpful for your nonprofit:

  1. You don’t have to be an expert to get started – many nonprofit employees and volunteers don’t talk about planned giving because they know they aren’t experts. Don’t let that stop you. You need to be an expert on your organization then turn to professional advisors for help with the legal parts.
  2. Listen – as with all parts of fundraising, it’s better to listen than to talk. Conversations with donors are what lead to planned gifts. If you are doing all of the talking, you will miss the opportunities to deepen a relationship with your organization through a planned gift.
  3. Create a legacy society – Beverley has some priceless tips on getting this started in your organization. Be sure to start by asking who has already named your organization in their estate plans. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As I say in the show, “I’m no planned giving expert.” But 25 years of fundraising experience has allowed me to be a part of raising planned gifts. Don’t be afraid to get started. Be sure to subscribe to The Philanthropy Show so you will know when new episodes are posted. Even the commercials are helpful. This one is from Jennifer Dodd, Education Manager at the Nonprofit Leadership Center. She’s got great tips on blogging.

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