Your Next Planned Gift Donor Might Surprise You

Picture in your mind the face of the quintessential Planned Gift prospect.


OK, fair enough.

But what if I told you that your next Planned Gift prospect could also look like this:


One of the most surprising findings to come out of the 2018 Blackbaud Institute For Philanthropic Impact report The Next Generation of American Giving is that Generation X is a good prospect for Planned Giving.

Why? A significant number of them report that they are in the process of deciding where their money will go after they are gone. About 71% say they might/would consider making an estate plan.

“Furthermore,” the report states, “they are more open to consideration for planned giving, a door that appears to close the older you get.”

Boomers are also very good Planned Giving prospects, as about one in five of them do not have wills or estate plans. About 56% are in the category of might/would consider making an estate plan.

Overall, GenX is now nipping at the heels of Baby Boomers in average annual donations—a $140 difference in giving for 2017.

Be ready to provide a good deal of documentation about community impact and performance metrics on your web site. That’s where 64% of GenXers and 61% of Boomers do their research before investing in a non-profit. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also crucial, as donors from GenZ through GenX are more likely to use Google to find you.

Lastly, no matter what you hear about Millennials, their share of total charitable dollars in 2017 was only 14%. It makes sense, as that generation (many of whose members graduated college during the recession, face low wages and high cost of living) is still establishing itself in the workplace.

Boomers and GenX combined account for 64% of all giving for 2017, according to the Blackbaud Institute report.

Some ideas:

If your next event has attracted Boomers and GenXers, don’t be shy about providing Planned Giving materials (gifts of stock, charitable gift annuities, etc)

Hold free planning seminars (hosted by a local financial advisor and/or lawyer) aimed at those cohorts

Include Planned Gift buckslips in year-end mailings

Display Planned Gift options prominently on your web site and in your digital member guide or monthly emails

Produce spots that explain Planned Gift options (they don’t all have to be bequests)

Let CDP know if you put any of these recommendations into action!

Barry NelsonComment