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4 simple ways to promote your planned giving program

Posted June 7, 2019 by Virginia Davidson

Planned giving program promotion tips

A planned giving program can be a cornerstone of your organization’s development efforts, but it will be most effective when people know it exists. Here are 4 tips to promote your planned giving program.

Note: If your organization wants to establish a planned giving program, we lay out the steps for you in this article: How to establish a planned giving program without a planned giving officer. Yes, you read that right. Even the smallest organizations can do this!


Tip 1: Establish some boilerplate text about your planned giving program.

You can tailor it to where you’re using it, but you should have some established content ready to go. It can be as simple as:

Have you remembered ABC Organization in your will? A planned gift will leave a lasting legacy for future generations. Bequests can be made in many forms. For information about making a bequest, contact Development Director at [phone number] or by email at [email address].

If you have already named the ABC Organization in your will or trust, please let us know so that we may welcome you into the Legacy Society. Requests for anonymity will be honored.


Tip 2: Consistently include your boilerplate text in existing communications.

This boilerplate language can be included on your organization’s website or enewsletter, or in printed material such as an annual report. Make sure it’s easy for people to come across.


Tip 3: Add a checkbox to your online forms or envelopes.

On your remittance envelopes and online donation forms, add a checkbox for donors to select if they’d like to receive information about making a bequest. It’s true that your remittance envelopes and online donation forms should be simple and quick for donors to complete, so if you add one extra item it should be this one!


Tip 4: Educate your board members, development committee members, and colleagues about planned giving.

This doesn’t mean they need to learn everything there is to know about planned gifts or about estate law. They just need to have a basic understanding of what planned giving is and why it matters to your organization. Most importantly, they should be able to tell an interested donor whom to contact at your organization to learn more. It’s vital that they be able to spread the word about your planned giving program when the opportunity naturally presents itself in conversation.



By promoting your planned giving program in a consistent manner, you’re doing a service for your organization as well as for your donors. Planned giving programs don’t just benefit the recipient; they also give your donors a way to leave a lasting legacy.


2 thoughts on “4 simple ways to promote your planned giving program

  1. Hi Virginia,
    I am the Board Treasurer for White Pony Express. We have a fledgling Legacy program. My question centers around communication, once a donor decides to leave a legacy gift. How is this communicated to the recipient organization? Is there a common boilerplate form?

    1. Hi Jim, One idea might be to set up a simple LGL Form (which you can host on a dedicated page on your website) where donors can share with you as much information as they choose about their intentions related to a legacy gift. There are many different ways organizations choose to record data about donors who intend to make legacy gifts and those sometimes vary greatly depending on how the donor intends to make a legacy gift. LGL does not have a sample form, but you could ask other LGL users on our User Group page on Facebook to see if anyone has a sample form they’d like to share. You can join the group here:

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