This question comes up all the time and is both easy and hard to answer. Read here my REPOST article I wrote for Network for Good. Link to their site here.
If you are new to legacy giving, let’s start with what legacy giving is not – it is not scary, it is not fraught with technical tax issues, and it is not only for former practicing lawyers and financial and tax advisors. It is a fundraising option that should be used by any nonprofit professional that has responsibility to raise money for an organization. Think of it as an additional revenue resource for your organization, and another way for your donor to show support. I like options and I bet your donors do as well.
You may have heard of legacy giving by its many different names – planned giving, deferred giving, estate giving, etc.
What is a Legacy Giving Program and why is it helpful?
Why is legacy giving important as a revenue source, like annual fund, corporate and foundation giving, and events? It is because:
It adds another element to individual giving;
It adds an additional revenue source for organizations to secure their fiscal stability;
It builds an endowment to provide an ongoing source of income each year in perpetuity;
It augments the other “asks” and deepens the connection with donors, and
It provides an opportunity for impactful gifts.
It broadens your donor base to allow donors to make impactful gifts by providing a diverse way to give assets.
There are so many reasons to add legacy giving as an option for your donors. Why limit it to current gifts of cash and securities?
Many donors don’t have the capacity to give major gifts on an annual basis but they can make a major gift by using other types of assets, like art and life insurance policies, and more thoughtful planning through estate gifts and endowments. By promoting legacy gifts you are broadening your base of donors that can give to you in ways other than cash or securities. You are providing your donors a way to make an impactful gift to the best of their ability. You are creating a system that allows them to attach their values to their gift.
If you want to provide your donors with an opportunity to make an impact, while also creating a sustainable revenue source for your organization starting a legacy giving program is the way to go – and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.