Gift Vehicles that Donors Love

“Rob, your choice of words sometimes.  The Great Recession scared the ‘what’ out of people?”

The bejeebers.  The Great Recession scared the bejeebers out of a great many people and they still remember it.

Seriously.  Making an outright current gift in cash to charity has lost a bit of its luster these past few years in favor of remembering causes important to the donor in their will or estate plan, or via other gift vehicles I call “The Big Three.”

What to do about that?

The first thing I suggest is to turn to page Six of The Weekday Blog.  There you’ll find three posts with 7 simple, effective ways you can effectively market for bequest gifts to your organization.

And since plain old fashioned bequests, given through the donor’s will or estate plan account for 85% of all planned gifts in America today, spending less than 2% of your time to capture 85% of the planned gift market sounds like a great idea.

Don’t you think?

Now, what other current gift vehicles find favor with donors these days?

Head and shoulders above the crowd is the Donor-Advised Fund.  We can talk about DAF’s in more depth at a later time but simply, the donor makes a gift to a Fund established for this purpose at Fidelity, Schwab, or dozens of other places and then, whenever the donor wishes, he or she “recommends” a gift from their fund to the charity of their choice.  Like yours!

The point you must remember is this:  On a regular basis, through all of the communication streams your organization uses, you must remind donors that you “welcome gifts from your Donor-Advised Fund.”

I promise you, there will be someone out there who will slap their head with the palm of their hand and say, “That’s right!  Why didn’t I think of that?  We could make a gift to them through our Donor-Advised Fund!”  And then they will do just that.

Same exact thought process with Number Two of our “Big Three,” which is reminding your donors that you “welcome and appreciate gifts to our organization from the Required Minimum Distribution of your IRA.”

Individuals age 70 ½ are required each year to take a distribution from their IRA whether they like it or not.  The law allows them to designate up to $100,000 of that distribution as a charitable gift, to one or more organizations.  All the person needs to do is contact the administrator of their IRA and let them know.

Again, donors forget about this wonderful opportunity to support you!  You have to remind them.

And, last but not least among our Big Three, donors who choose to make a gift of stock will be able to take a charitable deduction on the full appreciated value of the stock and, at the same time, avoid the capital gains tax on the appreciation.  It is a fantastic way to make a gift.

Really, all four are.  A bequest, a gift from a Donor-Advised Fund, a gift from the Required Minimum Distribution of their IRA, and a gift of stock.  (Hint: scroll through the Weekday Blog and you’ll find lots more on gifts of stock.)

The trick is, donors DO NOT REMEMBER these wonderful gift vehicles, or they do not associate them with your organization.

You have to remind them.  Often.

If you do, you’ll see results.  Donors who make a gift from one of our Big Three will invariably make another, and another and then, perhaps, a gift to you from their will or estate plan.

Now you’re talkin’ turkey!

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