A dear friend of mine, now deceased, said she prayed for “the speedy return of common sense.” I am thinking of her now as we enter the third day of the government shutdown. We can only hope it will be over soon. Nonprofits will feel the brunt of the problems caused by this shutdown, and this will be on top of the work we already had, and the scrambling most of us are doing to get ready for end of year fundraising. We hope that all of you reading this newsletter will be able to keep focused on your mission and will be able to raise the money you need.
In this issue:
- Can You Afford Not to Have a Planned Giving Program? By Stan Yogi, Senior Consultant, Klein & Roth Consulting
- Upcoming Events
Can You Afford Not to Have a Planned Giving Program?
By Stan Yogi, Senior Consultant, Klein & Roth Consulting
At one point or another, perhaps spurred by an unexpected bequest, your organization might have considered starting a planned giving program. But you may have not moved forward because of the seeming complexity of legacy gifts. (What the heck is a charitable lead trust and how do I bring it up with a donor?) Or, you may not feel you have enough individual donors for it to be worthwhile to focus on bequests and other types of legacy gifts. And some of you may feel so busy generating annual support that planned giving resides perpetually on your “things to do when I have time” list.
But if you wait too long, you may be jeopardizing the financial stability of your organization, given the rapid changes taking place in our society. Consider these statistics about the United States’ current population:
“Greatest Generation” and Older (born 1901-1945)
75 million people
Baby Boomers (born 1945-1964)
78 million people
Generation X (born 1965-1980)
46 million people
Millennials (born 1981-2002)
76 million people
As you can see, the Baby Boomer generation is quite large. Many of our non-profits were founded by Boomers who identified societal problems and formed organizations to address them. Baby Boomers have also been generous to non-profits, a trait they perhaps learned from their ‘Greatest Generation’ elders, who as individuals give an average of almost $500 each year to their favorite non-profit. Like their elders, Boomers’ average gift to their favorite non-profit is $436. This is compared to Generation Xers, who give an average of $376 per year and Millenials, who give about $230.
Boomers also account for 43% of all money contributed to non-profits, and a recent study found that Boomers and the elder generation account for nearly 70% of estimated individual contributions to non-profits.
But philanthropy-minded seniors who are part of that oldest generation are quickly passing away. And as more and more Boomers retire in the coming years, their income may dip and they may not have the resources to be as generous in their annual giving as they were during their working lives. At the same time, Generation X is nearly half the size of the Baby Boom generation. Because of the sheer population size of the two older generations, even if every Gen X-er contributed to non-profits, they couldn't make up for the drop in contributions that will happen as Baby Boomers retire or pass away.
And last but not least, the oft-discussed Millennial. Although they are another big generation, many people in this age cohort consider volunteering, rather than donating, a greater way to make an impact. Many Millennials are also establishing their careers. So those who are inclined to donate may not yet be in an economic place to make contributions to your organization, let alone replace the annual contributions of prior generations. And given the economic trend of increased consolidation of wealth among a small group of people and the ever increasing gap between rich and poor, Gen X-ers and Millennials may never be able to donate as much money as previous generations have done.
So what does this mean for your organization? It would be wise to plan for an impending dip in annual gifts as Baby Boomers age and pass away. One way to address this is to begin encouraging your loyal supporters to remember your organization in their estate plans now.
Estate gifts, which are usually the largest contributions that any individual will make to an organization, are a way to build reserves to weather a potential decrease in annual gifts.
Older generations have a lot of assets to pass on. Trillions of dollars will change hands in the coming decades as the “Greatest Generation” and Baby Boomers pass away. Why shouldn’t some of that wealth go to your organization to further your mission and the work that your faithful donors have supported during their lifetimes?
If your donor base consists largely of Baby Boomers and seniors and you don’t soon begin promoting estate gift options, your organization may miss out on significant contributions.
There are simple and cost-effective ways that even small, grassroots groups can encourage legacy gifts. Please contact us here at Klein & Roth, and we’d be happy to talk with you about how we can support you in developing a planned giving program that is appropriate for your organization.
Stan will be leading three public workshops on planned giving in the next few months. See Upcoming Events and Programs below.
Upcoming Events and Programs
Weekend Training with Kim Klein at the Rowe Conference Center, October 18-20 in Rowe, MA: There is still time to sign up to attend the only public residential training Kim does all year. This training is capped at 40 participants and takes place over a weekend in a beautiful setting with incredible food! Participants get in-depth knowledge geared to their organizations. This is a rare opportunity to get personalized attention from Kim and to learn new skills in a small group retreat setting.
“Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues: Dilemmas of the Nonprofit Tradition in LGBT Politics”, Oct 4-5, at Columbia Law School, New York City: Stephanie Roth will be speaking on a panel on “Funding & Fundraising Across Class Divides” on Saturday, October 5.
California Nonprofits Annual Convention, November 14 in San Francisco: This year’s keynote speaker is Professor Robert B. Reich, who will talk about the slow economy recovery and implications for the nonprofit sector. Kim Klein, Jan Masaoka, Pamela David and others will also be speaking at this annual gathering of nonprofit leaders.
Can You Afford Not to Have a Planned Giving Program? and Getting Started in Planned Giving workshops with Stan Yogi, Wednesday, November 13 at the Ventura County Community Foundation’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership: If you’re in the Central Coast / Santa Barbara area, you can learn more in-person from Stan through one or both of these public workshops—a great deal at only $15-$40 each (see link for more details). Stan will talk about how even small non-profits can establish an effective planned giving program.
Coaching for Transformation, Coaching Training Certification Program, January 13, 2014, to December 10, 2014: Registration is now open for this program, the first and only accredited coach training designed for coaching in the nonprofit sector with a focus on cultural awareness in many areas including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. A program of Leadership That Works, this highly regarded training also integrates principles of Non Violent Communication into its curriculum.
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