Philanthropy is the Best Investment
Increase Giving by Shifting Efforts from Disposable Income to Assets
Practical applications based on research by Dr. Russell James and experience by Dr. Eddie Thompson
Words have power. Many people avoid “death planning” but embrace discussions about what they value: their assets. And once donors commit to give an asset, their support will increase for years afterwards.
Suggestion #2: Change Your Wording to Change Your Future!
When we talk about “planned gifts,” donors naturally focus their attention to when they will die someday. Most people don’t like to talk about their own death and try to avoid those conversations. But when we discuss “giving assets,” their focus changes to something BIG and NOW, even if the timing of the transfer to your organization is in the future.
When someone adds a charitable component to their estate plan, they give much more in the years afterwards. Perhaps because an estate gift changes donors’ focus and they realize they can give assets, annual gifts significantly increase in size for years after a donor adds charity to their estate plan. According to research, the propensity to make inflation-adjusted gifts of $1,000 or more rose from 51.5% in the years before the charitable component was added to the estate plan to 61.8% in the years after the charitable component was added to the estate plan.
Thompson & Associates partners with nonprofits to provide estate planning services to their supporters. We show donors how they can utilize their assets to fulfill their values and reach their goals. After planning with us, the percentage of donors with a charitable component in their estate plan increased from 6% to 66%.
A quick and easy way for your supporters, like board members, to make a gift of assets is with their IRA. They can complete a simple form to add your organization as a beneficiary of their retirement account. They will feel this gift now, even if your organization may not receive the funds for years. After this gift of assets, research shows they will likely increase their annual giving to you for years.
Suggestion #2: Replace the term “planned giving” with “major gifts of assets” in giving conversations
Dr. Russell James’ Research: When someone adds a charitable component to their estate plan, they give much more in the years afterwards
Thompson & Associates’ Experience: After planning with us, the percentage of donors with a charitable component in their estate plan increased from 6% to 66%
Fundraising Tip: Encourage your supporters, like board members, to quickly and easily make a gift of assets by designating your organization as a beneficiary of their IRA
Proven Data Behind These Suggestions
Dr. Eddie Thompson and Dr. Russell James recently recorded a webinar about selling philanthropy, and planned giving specifically, to nonprofit CFOs. This insightful session and several great resources related to this subject are available to you below.
Dr. Eddie Thompson, FCEP
Founder and CEO
Thompson & Associates
Dr. Russell James, J.D., CFP®
Professor & Director of Graduate Studies in Charitable Financial Planning
Texas Tech University