The Numbers Don’t Lie

Are you afraid of planned giving?  Many development officers are.  It’s the “Great Unknown” of our profession and, well, we just don’t want to go there.  Let’s write another grant request, make another visit, or plan another event.

What a shame.  Planned giving is no more complicated than any other area of our work.  We just don’t know it well enough to understand that.  Like anything else in our life, if we don’t know it we’d just as soon avoid it.

I used to be afraid of planned giving.  So I forced myself to attend a planned giving conference and then it happened.

I honestly don’t remember what session it was.  I was in the back of the room listening to two people from big universities talking about trusts and heaven knows what.

Where I found the nerve to stick up my hand, I’ll never know, but I did.

“Can you tell me, what percent of all planned gifts in America every year come from wills and bequests?”

There.  I waited for people to chuckle dismissively.  The answer came from the front of the room.


No one was chuckling.  And I knew where my planned giving focus was going to be.

Donors use their wills to plan charitable bequests to support a cause they admire because it is simple.  Donors understand how to make a gift from their will.  They like simple.

They also like having full control of their assets during their lifetime.

If I told you that focusing on just one simple area of planned giving, wills and bequests, could ensure you’d capture 85% of your planned gift potential, would you be happy with that?

Of course you would.

Let’s do it.  Our upcoming posts will focus on the simple steps that can create a cracker-jack planned giving program for your organization.  Steps that will take 2% of your time.  And capture 85% of your potential.

You can have a solid planned gifts program that leads to big gifts.  Stay tuned to find out how.

In our next post, the story of my search to find the top fund-raising high school in America, and what I discovered.

Have a good day, my friends.


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