Understand What Motivates People to make Planned Gifts

Of the donors surveyed by the NCPG, 94% made their planned gifts because they sincerely believe in and want to support a worthy cause. Seventy-nine percent said that knowing the ultimate use of the gift was important, and 54% said estate and financial planning issues motivated them to complete a planned gift. Only 43% cited avoidance of taxes as a reason for their gift.

Your congregation's mission or "vision" statement should be compelling. How contributions will actually be used should be common and public knowledge. If gifts are going to your endowment fund, prospective donors will want to know how their gifts will be invested and managed, how endowment earnings will be allocated for spending or re-investment, and under what circumstances, if ever, the principal might be invaded.

Tax savings are seldom the primary motivating forces for charitable contributions. In some instances, however, the tax benefits of philanthropy allow some individuals to give more than they initially thought possible.