Planned giving is an important part of a strategic development plan. There are a lot of donors who live on a fixed income but would like to participate in supporting your organization and the only way they can do that is by leaving an estate gift. Part of every ask should include the topic of a planned gift at some point to your organization.
The other day, I was meeting with one of our clients in NYC and we were discussing how it had received an estate gift of $6 million from one of their donors. The woman had been supporting the organization for years with small gifts. One day the Executive Director got a call from her asking if he would come to visit her. He went out and had a great visit with her. She had told him that she called 12 organizations that she cared about and he was the only one who came to visit, so she would leave her entire estate to him. When she passed, they received $6 million from her estate.
This is a business about relationships and showing up. So many organizations focus on the money, but if you pay attention to the important things like building relationships and thanking donors, the money will follow.