Thursday, May 30, 2013

9 Things to Remember When Planning

A friend and fellow fundraiser handed me an article from the NonProfit Times with the comment that there are at least 2 David Hall's in the world of Planned Giving.  David C. Hall is Director of Planned Giving at the University of Arkansas and was a speaker at the AFP 50th International Conference on Fundraising.  You will find The NonProfit Times article at "9 Things to Remember When Planning" and in it David reminded us of some important points about planned giving:

  • If you are not asking your prospects for planned gifts, someone else is.
  • Eventually that "someone else" will steal cash gifts also.
  • Cash-starved are the best times for planned giving.
  • Those who even dabble in planned giving eventually earn 50% to 100% more than those who don't.
  • The typical planned gift is 200 to 300 times the gift of a donor's largest annual gift.
  • Planned gifts do not alter prospects' cash flow.
  • Prospects are eager to make a planned gift but simply don't know how.
  • Prospects making gifts through their will typically increase their annual support.
  • Anyone can make a planned gift.

I added the emphasis to highlight the well-documented fact that some of the biggest objections to planned giving at local United Ways just aren't the case.  The University of Arkansas website is a good one to look over (even for an Alabama fan) and if you hear of another David Hall out there in planned giving, let me know.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Insurance Policies in a Nutshell

Life Insurance Policies make up approximately 1/3 of the total gifts to our Endowment.  With over 100 policies, they can be both a blessing and a pain.  As a planned giving vehicle, a life insurance policy offers an tool for leveraging donor dollars.  However, underwriting, annual monitoring, and the accounting challenges can make them a very time consuming challenge for even the largest United Ways. 

You will find a 1 page overview of our governing policies for gifts of insurance by clicking HERE.  As always, I upload the documents to Google Drive and access is limited, so it's safe. 

Finally, if you are considering adding insurance policies as a planned giving option, seriously consider United Way Life. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Brochure

You can find a PDF of our brochure by clicking UWCA Legacy Gifts Brochure.  We put this brochure together with the idea of creating a piece that would remain relevant to our overall messaging for several years and focus on Legacy Giving as the next step in your United Way giving.  We wanted our focus to be on contributing to the next generations so that you will always be giving to United Way.  Ask our long time donors to consider endowing their annual gift has been a message that has worked well for us. 

The brochure was composed by our volunteers on the Legacy Cabinet and produced locally.  We wanted to limit the talk about different PG vehicles and instead focus on Legacy donors and why they choose to give to the endowment.  If you have a brochure I can share with others, please send me a PDF copy so I can post it.  As always you will receive all the credit, honors, and financial gains!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Great Resources from Kathryn Miree

Anybody in the planned giving world needs to visit Kathryn Miree's website at www.kathrynmireeandassociates[dot]com.  Go to the Resources Library and you will find a wealth of free information including articles, sample forms, and links to other good sites. 

Kathryn is a member of our Tocqueville Society and the Tocqueville Legacy Circle.  She is a part Board Chair and Chair of the Legacy Cabinet.  

Hope you enjoy(ed) your Memorial Day Weekend.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gift Acceptance Policies

None of us should have to create policies out of thin air since there are so many excellent examples out there to retread.  Last year, a group of us from Resource Development and Finance got together to rewrite our Gift Acceptance Policies (GAP's).

The process went smoothly.

  1. Individually we reviewed the old GAP's and marked everything we thought needed to be changed, deleted, or added.
  2. We reviewed several examples from other United Ways.
  3. We searched the web for good examples from other sources not UW affiliated
  4. We took the best ideas from everyone else
  5. We wrote the new policies.
  6. Currently they are going through the review process with the Board committees
You will find a PDF of the final draft by clicking HERE! (By the way, I upload these documents to Google Drive and I am told this makes them safe from viruses or other infections that drive our IT guys crazy!).

We borrowed heavily from our good friends at United Way of Greater Atlanta and Bentley Marane.  They have great GAP's.  We also found the GAP's from LSU to be quite good.  If you want a list of all the different examples we used, drop me an email.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy

Thanks to Joe Jerz, Senior Director of Campaign and Major Gifts at Heart of West Michigan United Way in Grand Rapids for sending out a link this morning to the study. It's only 7 pages long and I took a copy with me this morning on a visit to a Financial Planner.  It made a great impact piece for a conversation about her clients, our Tocqueville Society, and the endowment. 

Go to


UWCA Forms

These are a couple of the donor templates we are using currently.  Believe me they change frequently, so we try to keep them flexible.  I'm uploading PDFs for space reasons and because I can link to them on Google Drive.  If you want the MS Office files, email me. 

If you click on the form name below, it should take you to the PDF on Google Drive.

Donor Agreement for Insurance Policies.  One of the things we learned on this form was not to refer to it as a Donor Agreement Form, because if you abbreviate the name, you get DAF which is also a Donor Advised Fund and the accountants complain.

TLC Commitment.  Our objective here was to keep things as simple as possible.  It has worked well and donors are more likely to give us the details we need if there is not alot of other information that needs to be filled out.

I am ALWAYS looking for better forms, so send me yours.


Crescendo Interactive

I will readily admit from the very beginning that we are Crescendo customers and I really like their resources - and there are a bunch.  The company is out of California and you can find their website at  It would take way too long to go through all they do and I would hate to deprive you of the chance to spend sometime exploring their website, but I will point you in the direction of 2 of their tools worth considering.

The first is The Planned Giving Blog by Kristen Schultz Jaarda.  Kristen is the Senior Vice President and an Estate Planning attorney.  Her blog focuses on social media and its many uses in promoting planned gifts, but you will also find a wealth of information on specific vehicles.  You can access her blog directly from the Crescendo webpage, friend her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter. 

The second is GiftCollege.  If you want to know about bequests and trusts, real and personal property gifts, and just about any other type of planned gift that some donor could possibly even think of giving to United Way, GiftCollege will teach you all about it.  These are online courses with reading materials, lectures, and even quizzes.  The last time I checked, there were over 100 online courses you can take through GiftCollege and if you are really obsessive compulsive, you can earn your certification as a Certified Gift Planning Associate (CGPA) and then as a Certified Gift Planning Professional (CGPP).  I went for the whole enchilada and it was well worth the very low cost.  I now am quite confident that I can handle gifts of fine artwork, closely held stock, and dairy cows!!!

I am sure there are other companies that offer similar products that may be just as good.  However, Crescendo is what I know so if anyone wants to offer a review of another similar service, just let me know.

More Retreaded ideas yet to come!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Some Great UWW Resources

Obviously if we are going to talk about planned giving resources for local United Way's, we have to list UW Online - not just because they are the mother ship, but because you are going to find some great tools and ideas there. 

They have greatly improved United Way Online in recent months and the site is much easier to navigate.  Go to "Resource and Tools", "Give", and then click on "Endowment and Gift Planning Service Center."  It's well worth the time you can spend exploring the different topics and resources.

I was looking at other planned giving websites the other day and came across The University of Texas and their planned giving website at  Their planned giving website is by Crescendo (who I will talk about tomorrow), but what caught my eye was the Resources section on the right side.  Take a look at their Sample Language and Forms, Estate Intention Letter, and Gift Planning Guide.  These are definitely ideas worth borrowing.

More tomorrow.

Friday, May 17, 2013

No Point in Reinventing the Wheel!

Finding a great idea is a whole lot better than trying to invent a new one.  So, inspired by my friend Bryne Lewis from United Way of the Wyoming Valley in Wilkes Barre PA and her blog, "Apples to Oranges", PG Retreads is dedicated to good ideas and resources from the world of planned giving that you just might find helpful.  

That said, the first resource I am going to recommend is ....

Apples to Oranges

Bryne Lewis is the Vice President of Resource Development at UW of the Wyoming Valley and she is chronicling their move to a new way of thinking when it comes to RD work.  Apples to Oranges is a new blog, so you can get in on the ground floor reading about their progress. You will find it at


For the next couple of days, I will add other websites, resources, and good ideas I find useful in our work. When I've posted everything I know currently, I will do my best to find and post at least once a week the best idea I think worth sharing. If you have a good idea, send it to me at dhall[at] You can contribute a blog post, get full credit, honors and accolades from your fellow planned giving searchers.

I am going to avoid using hyperlinks, actual email addresses, and other tools that make it so easy for phishers and spammers to send us garbage we don't want.  If you want to know how to get in touch with someone (like Bryne) email me and I will send you her contact info (she says I can).