You can make only so many budget cuts before you disappear.

  Non-profits with an active planned giving program are more stable than those without one.

Last year, when the recession really hit, most non-profits tightened their belts. Then they went on a binge of events, galas, direct mail appeals and “tin cup” campaigns (the least effective methods of fundraising, by the way.) 

Well, revenues for most non-profits were down anywhere from 10% – 25%, or worse. If an organization made budget cuts last year, there is no more “fat” left to trim. They could shut their doors if they don’t find a way to raise more revenue, and raise it now. It may seem like a hopeless downward spiral, fraught with stress and confusion. So what is a non-profit to do? 

A system of sincere, values-based, face-to-face encounters with donors and potential donors is the key to your success, both now and in the future. It will take a plan that includes not only annual fundraising but also planned giving

The problem is that planned giving is complex. It is a mystery to most development professionals, let alone board members, executive directors and donors. Further, it takes a very long time to “convert” the donation – an average of 18 months to 3 years. Therefore, very few organizations have truly meaningful and effective planned giving programs. 

However, the average size of a planned gift is 20-25 times larger than the average annual gift, including corporate sponsorships. In addition, organizations that have an established planned giving program are weathering the recession storm better than the average non-profit. 

An investment in a planned giving program does not have to be delayed. With a fresh approach, such as PhilanthropyPlus ™, my clients can raise money now AND planet seeds for that future growth and security. Any plan to get a planned giving program up and running should include: 

  • CLEAR, values-based, compelling case for support
  • Education & Professional Development for the non-profit leaders
  • Board engagement and education
  • Ambassadorship program
  • A “sales” program of genuine relationship cultivation & referrals

It takes time, a lot of authentic character development, focus on service and discipline.   In the process, you will have to get out of your “cave” and into circulation, which is very difficult for most non-profit professionals.  It is not easy, like an event or a direct mail campaign, but it is simple. 

For more information on how your organization can have  PhilanthropyPlus ™ work for you, see our website and Laura’s full LinkedIn profile.

Posted on February 27, 2010, in Innovations and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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