Over the last 12 months, my clients have shared concerns about continued economic challenges. Current giving has declined as the stock market struggles and inflation has increased. Higher education especially faces the unique challenge of how to provide the best education in the decades ahead at an affordable price for all students. More hospitals have closed or merged than at any time in our history (60% of them are nonprofits).
On the positive side, I’ve heard numerous success stories of my clients receiving impactful planned gifts that allowed them to meet their budgets and even surpass their goals. There have been significant increases in QCDs and noncash gifts of real estate. Many are finding that gifts of closely held businesses are becoming more popular. Knowing your donors—and their capacity to make these types of gifts—is key to your marketing and relationship building.
In 2023, I’ve seen an increase in the need for onsite training to educate major, principal and planned gift officers, and I predict 2024 will see an even greater demand. Being able to share with leadership the potential of structuring 7-, 8- and 9-figure blended and noncash gifts will grab their attention and can ensure their ongoing support. The investment in learning could pay big dividends for your program’s future.
As more of our clients launch capital campaigns next year, we know they will be most successful with a comprehensive and strategic major and planned giving effort. From data services, to onsite training to ongoing consulting, Sharpe has tools and services that will make a positive impact on your program’s success in 2024 and beyond. ■