If you’ve ever attended a planned giving workshop, there’s a good chance you walked away with your head spinning…
“NIMCRUTs! CRATs! Exotic estate planning scenarios! Is planned giving something I really want to get into? What would I do if someone called with questions about one of these complex, planned giving options?” These are likely the questions that were on your mind.
Planned giving doesn’t have to be mind boggling. And there’s a good chance it could benefit you, even if your organization is on the small side. Did you know that bequests typically account for two-thirds of all planned gifts received? And you needn’t be intimidated by the complexity of charitable trusts and other planned gifts; the donor’s legal and financial advisors can handle the technical details.
Are You Ready?
So how can you determine whether you’re ready to initiate a planned giving effort? If you can answer three questions affirmatively, you probably are. (And it doesn’t matter whether your organization is higher education, arts or anything else.)
- Do you have a strong base of individual supporters?
- Do your donors have confidence that your organization will be a going concern when their estate-related gifts mature?
- Can you make the time to understand and promote a handful of uncomplicated options?
The first two questions should be self-explanatory. As for the third, here’s what you should consider. There’s no reason to be afraid of planned giving. Having said that, you do need to understand and be able to discuss a few basic planned giving options, such as bequests, beneficiary designations and charitable remainder trusts. But—I’ll say it again—you don’t need to be an expert in tax law and investment strategies. Refer your donors to their legal and financial advisors for advice regarding those issues.
To learn more about starting a planned giving program, contact Scott Lyons at 540-710-0230 or Scott@RGS24.com.