For Impact


How to: Planned Giving

Funding Model and Funding Plans | | Nick Fellers

I’ve watched development officers come back from planned giving seminars with four D-ring binders full of options, vehicles and mechanics… no joke.

Some people go to school for years to understand those D-ring binders – they’re called accountants and lawyers!

Your job is to get the person/prospect/family to agree they want to leave a legacy – then have the people that went to school for this stuff figure out the mechanics. Stay high level. Stay simple.

Personally, I’ve never done anything with a CRT or creative insurance policy. I know that some gifts have ended up using those vehicles – the ‘how’ was just completed by someone more qualified than me.

I noted to someone the other day that I pretty much only use two ways to close a planned gift.

  1. PROTECT CLOSE: Asking someone that gives a regular and recurring amount to ‘protect the investment’. Example: Let’s say someone is giving $10K annually. You could rationalize a $200K planned gift to ‘protect’ that annual commitment. Idea is that if you had $200K and you wanted to use that as an endowed gift it would generate about 5% every year — or $10K.
  2. COMPLETING THE BALANCE: If someone wants to get to a funding LEVEL… say $5M but just can’t because of mechanics you might ask them to work for a gift level and commit to the balance via a planned gift. Example: Perhaps she can figure out how to pledge $3M in cash. The remaining $2M could be planned gift (note: may not help your immediate funding plan but does create a rationale for the gift). Of course, this planned gift pledge could also be converted to a cash gift at a later time… always creative options.

The coaching: Spend time getting people to WANT to fund your impact… COMMITTED to funding your impact… this is what YOU do well. Then, team up with others that do their job well to figure out the HOW-TO.

Complex things don’t work. Simple things work. Look at the D-Ring binders on your self. Look simple?