What is Planned Giving?

If you receive newsletters from your alma mater’s development office, you probably have seen that someone was their ‘Planned Giving Officer’.  There is a real reason that colleges have such a person on their staff.  In reality, most charitable organizations of any size have a PGO because they fulfill a very important role.

So, exactly what does a Planned Giving Officer do?  Or maybe more important for our discussion – “What is a Planned Gift anyway?” 

If you are in the leadership of a church you may be curious to learn a little about this, but may think it will not help you in any way with your church’s needs.  If so, you are probably missing an opportunity to significantly help some church members. 

 If you are associated with a nonprofit organization, you probably already know that your organization needs to become more active in this field.  However, you would like to have more information. 

A planned gift is an arrangement that allows a donor to make a contribution and receive income back for themselves or some other person or entity.  It may involve cash or securities, but it often includes insurance, IRA’s, real estate, art, or even the family business. 

There are several different vehicles used in the planned giving arena.  They are each designed to help a person express philanthropic desires, but also provide income for themselves or others in the process.  Many people approaching retirement or their ‘golden years’ would benefit from such an arrangement if they only knew such an arrangement was possible. 

The reason you, as the leader of a charity, need to know about planned giving is simple.  These gifts generally tend to be large gifts.  When properly cultivated, a planned gift even increases the likelihood of annual gifts and other large gifts from the individual.

With this article, we begin a series explaining different types of ‘planned gift’ arrangements.  As you read about them, you may think of a donor or church member who would like to know about such a possibility. 

The important thing in the cultivation of ‘planned gifts’ is to remember the needs of the individual is the primary consideration.  The arrangement needs to solve one or more issues that individual is concerned about.  Once successfully completed to the benefit of that individual your organization will be the ultimate benefactor of a wonderful gift – from a very grateful person.

However, it does take some planning and a genuine desire to serve the interests of others. While you personally may not have the training to become skilled in the area of planned gifts, help is available.  There may be an attorney in your church or organization who could assist people who have a need.  Look forward to the articles to come about various planned giving arrangements.  Hopefully, you will think of people who could benefit from your introducing them to a new and helpful concept.