3 Easy Planned Giving Tips for 2016

smilingwomanWe often hear from new clients that they have wanted to get a planned giving program started for years and just never get around to it. Well, my friends, this is your year!

Just taking these quick steps will position your organization to take advantage of the increasing opportunity for transformational gifts.

1. Include this simple language on your website, your direct mail reply forms, and your newsletters:

“Please consider leaving a gift to [Great Cause] in your will, trust or by beneficiary         designation. Our Tax ID is: xx-xxxxxxx.”

The standard language used over the past few decades, “Please remember us in your will,” has been proven ineffective by researcher Russell James, PhD as many donors don’t know what we mean by “remember” or even “will” in this context. Making this simple switch and providing your Tax ID number will help your donors when they are ready to take action.

2. When writing or talking about gifts of stock, be sure to mention that donors over the age of 70 ½ can now also transfer gifts directly from the IRAs to qualified charities without paying income tax on the distribution. In December, the President signed into the law this provision permanently so we no longer need to wait until the end of each year to see if it is in effect.

3. Talk with your donors about their legacies. Ask them what they want to be known for – what meaning they want their lives to bring to the world. Thinking about legacies and changes they want to see in their communities provides you with an excellent platform in which to discuss planned gifts.

Make 2016 your year to start talking about planned giving with your donors! You don’t need a full program to get started; just incorporate a few quick actions here and there, and you will be well on your way to growing your future gifts.

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