Sun, 05 Feb 2023

How to locate prospects for planned giving: four steps

16 Dec 2022, 04:13 GMT+10

Planned presents are often unpredictable. In a will, nine out of 10 planned contributions are bequests. And less than 25 percent of these donors notify the organizations of their contribution. In many instances, nonprofits only learn of a contribution after the cheque arrives after a donor's death.

This presents several challenges for planned gifting teams. Your organization cannot thank or manage these donations while they are alive. And secondly, you are unable to communicate with these donors, preventing you from knowing more about them and why they chose to leave legacies. This makes it more difficult to find new prospects for planned giving among your current donors.

However, by regularly following planned giving donors and to conduct prospect research, you can construct donor profiles and identify new opportunities for planned giving. Here are four steps your charity organization might take to learn how to locate planned gifts.

Step 1: Survey your contributors to identify existing planned giving donors.
The initial step in determining who is most likely to leave a legacy is to determine who has already included your organization in their will. Send your supporters a survey inquiring about their relationship with your organization and legacy-giving interest.

Include questions that measure their capacity, tendency, and willingness to donate. There are shared qualities among prospects for planned giving. These will be discussed in greater depth in the subsequent steps.

In the interim, keep in mind that you should approach inquiries regarding capacity in terms of demographics, financial indicators, and future gift considerations. The goal of propensity questions should be donor loyalty. Questions on employee motivation should emphasize their emotional connection to your firm.

In your planned giving survey, you may add questions like:

How have you supported our mission thus far? (Options could include DAFs, monetary donations, bequests, etc.)
When did you begin working with our organization?
What role has our organization played in your life? (Options may include contributing, volunteering, social media following, etc.)
Would you consider leaving our organization a bequest in your will?
How many offspring and/or offspring do you have? Are you wedded?

When sending a survey, include a concise explanation of why this information is necessary. Primarily, it will aid your business in future planning. It will support your organization's goal for years to come by attracting new donors with planned gifts.

Once you have collected survey data, you should analyze it. Consider those who have already made bequests and any factors (such as age or donor loyalty) that can help you find new chances for planned giving.

Step 2: Conduct prospect research for anticipated giving.
Prospect study expands upon your donor database. Personal histories, demographics, giving history, affluence, philanthropic tendencies, and reasons may be included. Knowing who your current donors are for planned gifts, you can research to determine which of these characteristics contributes most to their tendency, capacity, and incentive to give.

Plan to perform prospect research on your known planned giving donors, and you're top planned giving prospects and significant donors. You should seek out additional knowledge on the following topics:

Charity-related indicators
Philanthropic indications, such as years of consistent giving, are among the most significant predictors of whether a planned giving prospect would leave a legacy.

Prior giving
Research your annual, monthly, and big donors to get started. The greater the frequency of their donations or the length of time they have, the greater their donor loyalty. In research by Giving USA, more than fifty percent of planned gift contributors reported giving to these organizations for over twenty years.

Even if their contributions are small, these donors have demonstrated a commitment to your organization's mission. Even if they cannot give a substantial donation at this time, they may still wish to safeguard your organization's future. And there is no better way to accomplish this than through a planned gift.

Not everyone is capable of making frequent contributions. However, this does not imply that they have no interest in your organization. Consequently, it is also useful to consider the heavily involved individuals. Volunteers, board members, faculty, alumni, patients, or staff may be included. These are the individuals who now benefit from or manage your organization. And they are most likely invested in its future success as well.

Governmental and political giving
Donations to other charitable organizations or political campaigns demonstrate a donor's commitment to philanthropy. DonorSearch discovered that individuals who have contributed over $2,500 to political campaigns are 14 times more likely to give to charity in the future.

By examining which of your planned-gift prospects have already contributed to other charities or political campaigns, you can identify individuals who are most likely to give again. Several publicly accessible databases have information about past donations. DonorSearch, for example, is a free tool that allows you to search for donors by name and view their giving histories. On, you can also obtain political donation records.

Wealth indicators
Donors of planned gifts need not be wealthy to leave a legacy. They are, nevertheless, statistically more likely to own properties with median values. You may wish to utilize this information to find candidates for planned gifts who own real estate. To determine ownership, you can consult the public property tax records. Then, conduct a Zillow search for the prospect's address to determine the property's value.

Holding stocks and business links can also be useful indications of wealth. However, they may not reveal a donor's inclination to give.

Motivating elements

Motivational elements are the factors that inspire a donor to support your organization. Typically, they stem from an emotional commitment to your objective.

According to Giving USA's report, the top three reasons contributors make planned gifts are as follows:

The significance of the cause to the contributor.
The donor's confidence in the organization's capacity to have an impact
The ability of the giver to leave a larger donation in their will than during their lifetime.

Utilize and emphasize these themes in your conversations and contact potential donors for planned gifts once you have identified them.

Step 3: Create a donor profile for each type of planned contribution
Now you may leverage your data on currently planned giving contributors and prospect research to construct donor profiles. A donor profile describes the type of person most likely to contribute to your organization.

You should build a donor profile for each of the four basic types of planned donations. This will assist your organization in determining which types of planned gifts to promote with the most resources.

Wills include charitable organizations as beneficiaries of a portion of the estate. Because they do not influence a donor's regular financial flow, bequests are accessible to everyone who writes a will. This leaves a large variety of possible donors, including both your best prospects for planned gifts and general supporters.

However, according to our analysis of anticipated giving in 2022, these donors seem to share a few characteristics. When creating a donor profile for bequests, you may want to add the following demographic details:

Age: Donors of planned gifts and those who create wills tend to be slightly older. Over 69% of MinaWill wills are created by individuals aged 44 and older. People between the ages of 45 and 64 make the greatest bequests (39 percent of all bequests) and commit the most funds to bequests (40 percent of total pledges).
Gender: Men are less likely to create wills than women (43% of all wills created). However, the value of their bequests is approximately $64,250 more.
Marital status: Single People, divorced, or widowed are far more likely to leave a legacy. They constituted over half of all bequests on MinaWill, but only 41% of all willmakers.
Children: People without children are much more likely to leave legacies. Although only 20% of our platform's will-writers did not have children, they made 48% of all bequests.
Location: We have discovered a considerable association between the frequency of bequests (how many NGOs donors have included in their wills) and places with robust economies and bigger concentrations of wealth, such as New York and California.
Pets: Pet owners are 70% more likely to leave legacies than non-pet owners, but their gifts are slightly less.

It is crucial to highlight that individuals who lack one or more of these criteria nonetheless make bequests, often in smaller amounts. Therefore, you should continue to distribute information about bequest donations to all donors. You never know who may be interested in the present or the future!

Charitable gift annuities
Donors can make a gift of cash or shares in exchange for a fixed income for life through charitable gift annuities. These planned gifts are typically substantial and irrevocable; therefore, the contributors typically have higher incomes and are over retirement age. Gift annuities appeal more to donors with a conservative financial outlook since they ensure that the donor will continue to receive an income.

Consider additional wealth indicators when modeling this donor profile than you would with bequests. These donors are more likely to be mid- or upper-level professionals, to have conservative stocks and other investments, and to have a giving history. They may not consider themselves affluent, but they will be financially comfortable or well-off.

Donation-remainder trusts
In a charitable residual trust (annuity or unit trust), donors contribute cash or other assets and get a lifelong fixed income. The remaining assets are donated to charity.

Typically, these gifts are far larger than charitable gift annuities. They often demand a million-dollar net worth or more. Consequently, planned giving prospects from remaining trusts will be comparable to those from significant contributors. Create donor profiles based on their past and present major donors. Include indications of affluence, such as expensive residences, large household incomes, and successful occupations.

Donation-driven trusts
Additionally, charitable lead trusts will attract the wealthiest donors to your organization. Donors contribute to charitable-led trusts while the charity receives a set income. The residual assets are returned to the donor after the donation term.

Similar to charitable remainder trusts, these donor profiles may be modeled after your key donors. Lead trusts safeguard the assets of your donors and reduce their estate taxes. Therefore, these donors may be more likely to be wealthy parents who wish to leave their wealth to their children.

Step 4: Segment your prospects for scheduled giving.
After creating donor profiles, the segment planned to give prospects the to correspond with them. Determine which segments will yield the highest return. Attempt to schedule one-on-one meetings with these donors to discuss gifting possibilities.

Plan digital and physical outreach for the remainder of your planned giving prospects that clearly convey the benefits of planned giving. Make it simple for them to make a planned donation. You may, for instance, add a link to MinaWill, where contributors can create a will and leave a gift without cost.

Maintain contact with your planned giving prospects and donors, and refresh your prospect lists. Send them periodic surveys to identify potential new donors and collect data for refining donor profiles.

Start identifying prospects for planned gifts.
If you're beginning from scratch with your planned giving program, begin by educating yourself about this giving and the most effective ways to communicate with donors about it. Some of your donors may have already made a legacy for your organization, so it's important to measure their interest and knowledge with planned giving.

Ready to identify your prospects and contributors for planned gifts? MinaWill can help you locate existing planned donors and give you individualized marketing tactics and expert support.

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