Planned Giving: What You Need to Know

Aug 5, 2016

Excerpted from United for Libraries fact sheet #24 for Friends and Foundations
by Liz Boyd, Planned Giving Officer with The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library

What is planned giving and gift planning? The terms “planned giving,” “deferred giving,” and “gift planning” are, generally, interchangeable. Charitable gift planning is the process of cultivating, facilitating and stewarding long-term gifts to charitable organizations.

Libraries and Foundations should offer information on making planned gifts and make certain the donors are aware that their organization is, in fact, able and willing to accept planned gifts. Donors should be encouraged to seek charitable gift planning advice from professionals in order to assure both the technical merits of the transfer and the philanthropic quality of the gift. A development officer for a Foundation should be familiar with the various planned giving instruments, however, the majority of planned gifts will be bequests pursuant to a will or trust. Gift planning does not always provide immediate gratification. It generally takes from seven to ten years to begin receiving significant current dollars for the organization. Two of the most important attributes required in developing a gift planning program are patience and persistence.

Why is planned giving important to an organization? Gift planning gives donors an opportunity to help perpetuate the Foundation’s mission into the future. It allows donors to make much larger gifts to an organization than they may be able to do during their lifetime.

An effective gift planning program may actually strengthen the annual and capital giving programs. Your donors will not consider entrusting your organization with their accumulated assets if they are not willing to support the ongoing operating needs

Read the full fact sheet for how to begin and for the different types of charitable gifts in a planned giving program. Find more tip sheets for your Friends or Foundation on United for Libraries.

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