In tough times, explore planned giving

In tough times, explore planned giving

August 3rd, 2009

by Angela White

In today’s economic environment, many nonprofits are struggling to raise as much cash as possible for their on-going operations and special projects. We know that cash is king, but I don’t want us to forget about the opportunity to explore planned giving options with our donors.

In tough economic times, planned gifts can often be the best option for our donors, and, in building strong donor relationships, we want to maximize their philanthropic impact on the organization today while strengthening the relationship for future gifts. Of course, bequests are an obvious option for gifting in today’s environment, but there is no cash associated with a bequest intention to assist with a campaign, for example. However, what about a gift of a paid up life insurance policy? Many people have multiple life insurance policies, and many of them may not need the coverage now (children are grown, business is sold, etc.) but still own the policies. A gift of a paid up life insurance policy is a cash gift to your organization. Or, what about asking current gift annuitants to relinquish their rights to all or a portion of their gift annuity income payments? This would allow an immediate additional tax deduction for the donor and make additional cash available for a campaign or project? These are just a few examples. What do you think? What has been your experience? This topic is on my mind as we work with clients and donors to creatively meet their philanthropic priorities.

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