Remembering the Experience – Notes from the 2013 NC/SC Planned Giving Conference
As part of our ongoing education, PMA attends different conferences and presentations throughout the year. Last week President Patton McDowell and Managing Director Josh Jacobson made the trek to the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville for the 2013 Annual Planned Giving Conference (April 30 – May 1), presented by the North Carolina and South Carolina Planned Giving Councils. As a board member of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council, Patton joined with other leaders in welcoming speakers, returning attendees and new folks, like Josh who was attending for the first time.
Planned giving is typically considered a topic for senior development leadership, as it often pertains to more involved and/or complicated gift-making strategies. Planned gifts refer to a group of charitable commitments that require advanced planning to execute. A multi-year pledge, as part of a capital campaign, is one type of planned gift, requiring the donor to consider current and future financial impact. More often, planned gifts refer to bequests and charitable gift annuities, which take into consideration the donor’s legacy and end-of-life planning. While these can be pretty heavy topics, when harnessed correctly, planned giving can be incredibly impactful to your nonprofit’s bottom line.
Some of the topics covered at the conference included:
- Getting the Board Involved in Planned Giving – Tom Lawson, Southeast Senior Philanthropic Advisor at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, gave some great tips for engaging your board of directors in discussion of planned giving topics. Unlike the rule that says 100% of board members should contribute to the annual fund, it is not appropriate to expect every board member to make a planned gift… at least, not if they are relatively new. The key to getting your board “on board” with planned giving is to spell out, very clearly, what is being requested. A clear, appropriate request to help establish a planned giving society should include a description of how those gifts can be made and permission to market the society with their names attached.
- Calculating an Accurate Planned Gift Ask Request – In one of the more engaging sessions, Consultant Larry Raff, of Boston-based Copley Raff, explained how calculating requests is both an art and a science. As a part of this session, he asked participants to consider different donor prospects and determine a gift range. The room was wildly inconsistent, demonstrating how gift asks are often defined by the individuals doing the communicating.
- The Future of Planned Giving – According to Michael Kenyon, President & CEO of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP), changes to the tax code and nonprofit status are inevitable. The PPP is the leading national advocacy organization for planned giving and maintaining the charitable deduction and other tax benefits for charitable acts. With the government’s current revenue challenges, the likelihood is strong that greater regulation and less generous tax law will come to pass. Advocacy remains our best weapon, and it is critical for nonprofits to let elected officials know the importance of charitable giving to advancing the mission of your organization.
The Kanuga Planned Giving Conference is an enjoyable time, with a great combination of engaging workshops, networking and socializing. If you missed this event, then you have two opportunities to engage in more planned giving training. First, AFP and NC Planned Giving Council are partnering to offer more planned giving programming this summer in conjunction with the AFP NC Philanthropy Conference on August 15-16, 2013. Second, Mark your calendars for next year’s Planned Giving Conference, April 29-30, 2014, at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC.