What is a Nonprofit Planned (or Legacy) Gift?

What is a Nonprofit Planned (or Legacy) Gift?

Nonprofit organizations play an important role in addressing important social and environmental issues, and their success is heavily reliant on the generosity of donors. While some donors contribute on a regular basis, others prefer to make a more long-term impact through planned gifts.

So, what exactly is a planned gift, and why is it so critical for nonprofits? A planned gift is a donation made as part of a person's overall financial plan. This type of gift has many advantages for both donors and nonprofits, and it is a great way for donors to demonstrate their long-term commitment to the organization.

What are the Advantages of Planned Gifts?

One of the primary advantages of planned gifts for donors is that they can have a significant impact on a nonprofit's work without jeopardizing its financial security. This is because planned gifts are typically made as part of an individual's overall financial planning and are intended to meet the donor's financial needs first.

What are Some Examples of Nonprofit Panned Gifts?

Bequests, life insurance policies, and retirement account assets are examples of common planned gifts. Each of these gifts provides a distinct set of benefits and allows donors to make a gift that is tailored to their specific needs and goals. Bequests, for example, enable donors to leave a portion of their estate to a nonprofit, whereas life insurance policies enable them to make a significant gift for a relatively small premium.

What Type of Impact do Planned Gifts Have?

Planned gifts can have a significant impact on a nonprofit's ability to achieve its mission. This is because planned gifts frequently provide a consistent source of funding that can be used to support critical programs and services in the long run. This enables nonprofits to plan for the future with greater certainty and make significant investments in their work.

Encouraging Donors to Make Planned Gifts

So, how can nonprofits encourage their donors to make planned gifts? Here are a few pointers to remember:

Make it Simple

Make it as simple as possible for donors to learn about planned giving options. Provide clear and accessible information about the various types of planned gifts and how to make them on your website and in other materials.

Develop Bonds With Your Donors

Develop strong bonds with your donors. Communicate with your supporters on a regular basis about the impact of their contributions and involve them in the work of your organization. This will help to foster trust and long-term support.

Planned gift donors should be recognized and rewarded. Consider recognizing planned gift donors in a unique way, such as a donor wall or annual report, and providing opportunities for them to connect with your organization and learn more about your work.


Finally, planned gifts are an excellent way for donors to make a long-term impact on the work of a nonprofit, and they provide a number of advantages to both donors and nonprofits. Nonprofits can encourage more donors to make a lasting impact through planned gifts by making it simple for donors to learn about their options, cultivating strong relationships with supporters, and providing recognition and benefits to planned gift donors.

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