Planned Giving for Long Range Sustainability

Don’t forsake the “slow money”

 It is not terribly unusual for ministry leaders and marketers to want success fast, as opposed to slowly. Who could blame them? But many good things in life are like Heinz, “the slooooow ketchup.” You either take your time, or you settle for an inferior hamburger. We see this conflict particularly in the area of estate planning, or “legacy income.” Ministries stand to generate a significant amount of revenue by motivating their donors to bequeath a portion of their estate to the ministry. There’s a massive transfer of assets from every generation to the next. Over $3.5 trillion is sitting in retirement accounts alone. But many ministries never invest in the establishment of an estate planning effort. Even now, when agencies like ours have developed strategies for accessing legacy income cost-effectively and with little risk, ministries drag their heels — preferring to focus all their energies on money now.(This is doubly tragic because we’ve found that many ministries can not only recover their planned giving program investment within the first year or two, but also generate immediate money for operations along the way — even while they’re building the organization’s endowment for the future.) Don’t forsake “slow money” … investigate whether an estate planning program will work for your ministry.

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, The Seven Deadly Diseases of Ministry Marketing: Confessions of a Christian Fundraiser.

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About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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