Getting Your Board on Board

The first and hopefully most committed volunteers you know are your board members. You will want (and maybe need) their permission to launch a planned giving program, and they should be among your first legacy society members.

To get them on board, first review the excuses laid out in the last section and apply the answers to your organization.

Second, educate yourself on simple planned gifts and get some samples of a 12-month calendar for marketing planned gifts and some simple postcards that can be sent to your first cohort of planned giving prospects. See our Resources section.

Next, query your donor database for those people who

  • are between the ages of 55-80;
  • have been giving to your mission consecutively (or close to consecutively) for 10 or more years;
  • have a valid address.

This is your first cohort.

Next, find simple language for bequests and write a one-page letter to your cohort.

Now name your legacy society, or at least have a few ideas for the board.

Finally, create a sample budget to execute the above plan. Most of your costs will be printing and mailing the three postcards in your first year.

With all of these details covered, take the plan to your board and show them that low cost can have high impact. Ask if they have ever thought about leaving a legacy gift to the organization to which they have been so generous with their time, talents and treasure.

With board approval in hand, execute your plan for a year. We guarantee that you will find some great new legacy gifts!


How to Make Successful Fundraising Asks
How to Make Successful Fundraising Asks

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PowerPoint presentation useful for Legacy Society meetings:

Get Your Board on Board