All in for 2024! | Sharpe Group
Posted November 28th, 2023

All in for 2024!

In 2024, I would like to see every small development department initiate a strategy to solicit planned gifts from their donors. In the era of the intergenerational wealth transfer, a planned giving program must be given urgent priority status! If you are not marketing planned giving to your donors, you can count on the fact that your competition is. Because of that, your donors may make a legacy gift to a charity other than yours.

I’m in! How do I start a planned giving program?
Start small—a page on your website discussing simple planned gifts—bequests, gifts of appreciated stock, beneficiary designations and qualified charitable distributions (QCDs); an article in your current newsletter; information in your email signature; and a survey to your donors regarding their giving priorities. As you identify prospects, you can begin to send targeted informational materials about estate and gift planning via mail or digitally. Once you receive a planned gift, share the story about the gift.

What if I don’t know all the answers to a donor’s questions?
Consider attending one of Sharpe’s comprehensive training sessions. Not only will you walk away with a broad understanding of planned giving, but you will connect with other development officers who share similar concerns.

Any other advice?
Be intentional, and your efforts will be rewarded! Don’t forget to communicate often with your board members, long-term volunteers, repeat donors and those most passionate about your mission. These can be your best planned giving prospects. The return on your investment will be worth your time. ■

Julie Schuldner, MBA, CFRE, is a Sharpe Group senior consultant. You can connect with Julie at or via LinkedIn.

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The publisher of Sharpe Insights is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. For advice and assistance in specific cases, the services of your own counsel should be obtained. Articles in Sharpe Insights may generally be reprinted for distribution to board members and staff of nonprofit institutions and other non-donor groups. Proper credit must be given. Call for details.

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