Revisiting Revenue Stream Opportunities

With the recent economic volatility, many nonprofits are revisiting revenue stream opportunities. Planned Giving, through various structures, is one way to help position organizations for a long-term consistent base of support. Philanthropic individuals are able to make a legacy commitment of larger gifts to charitable organizations than they could make from ordinary income, while still balancing lifetime individual financial security.

A Certified Financial Planner, Brian Cohoon advises Ashley|Rountree clients in Planned Giving. He has more than 28 years in the financial and estate planning field and has directed more than $500 million in trust assets to charities during his professional tenure at Renaissance, Inc. Early in his career, Brian worked as Director of Planned Giving at Norton Healthcare.

Given the economic climate, I asked Brian to comment on the best use of a nonprofit’s time with regards to planned giving. Here is his response:

I recommend that development professionals consider the following steps to begin the process:

  • Review all marketing materials (both printed and digital) and make plans to include promoting endowment and gift planning ideas/stories.
  • Review the data base and prospect contact procedures for Planned Giving prospects. Can your system capture “expectancy” information? Sort data by age, widows, single donors with no children, large IRAs. Routinely capture relevant conversations with potential donors, adding that contact information to your prospect files and data base.
  • Realistically assess if and how your organization can provide the service and technical components of a proactive planned giving program. If you cannot, how do you collaborate or hire a consultant or outsource planned giving services?
  • Design a planned giving training session for key donors and prospects – Consider reaching out to the Board, past Board, their families, consistent donors, and donors with numerous or significant annual gifts to endow their giving and acquaint them with practical giving ideas.

As you prepare your plan consider the following – Donors typically do not consider a major gift until they can answer three important questions:

  1. Do we have enough to live on for the rest of our life?
  2. How much, and in what form, should we leave assets to our heirs?
  3. Would we rather our estate write a check to the IRS or to a local organization?

Craft your requests in response to these challenging questions. Do not ask the questions outright as some may find the questions obtrusive. Instead, engage the prospect in multiple conversations and donors may reveal their answers to the key questions. Persist – the outcome will be worth it!

Over and over we hear from clients that they want to start a planned giving program but have put it off for various reasons. Now is the time and Ashley|Rountree can assist your nonprofit in attaining your planned giving needs through a phased approach. To learn more, please contact Brian Cohoon at 502.244.5835.