Planned Giving – Hit the Snooze Button

The topic of planned giving is boring even to fundraisers. It can require a lot of legal infrastructure, it requires talking to donors about end of life choices, which is never an easy discussion, and nonprofits don’t see income for years after setting up a planned giving program. JRP’s planned giving specialist jokes that nonprofits always leave planned giving work until late Friday afternoons, because it’s such a low priority. And in fact, a nonprofit called me a few weeks ago late on a Friday afternoon asking about planned giving!

Despite the unpleasantness involved, established nonprofits should have a planned giving program. At the very least, nonprofits should provide language for donors to put into their will. Larger nonprofits should include conversations about bequests, annuities and other planned giving opportunities in their materials and in conversations with dedicated donors. And yet many nonprofits don’t have this infrastructure in place.

If you know of a Pasadena-area nonprofit that could use help to develop a planned giving program, contact the JRP Site Director at or 626-319-6466.

If you are still reading this post (I even fell asleep briefly writing it =), you should make sure that you have a nonprofit listed in your will, at the very least as the last resort beneficiary, in case all other beneficiaries are deceased. Larger nonprofits will have the correct language to use in your will, or a planned giving representative to talk about planned giving options. Smaller nonprofits may generally don’t have this information, but including the official name of the nonprofit and their address in your will should suffice. You end-of-life donation will help a nonprofit for years after you’re gone.

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