Why Legacy Giving Management Is A Necessity For Your Nonprofit

4 min read
November 18, 2021
Brantley Boyett headshot
Brantley Boyett
President and Co-founder, Giving Docs
legacy giving

Donors who are interested in legacy giving are one of the most untapped revenue sources your organization has. Currently, roughly 5% of people leave a gift to a nonprofit in their will, but research shows that up 33% would consider leaving a gift if they were properly asked.   

Many nonprofits still follow the somewhat antiquated playbook for planned giving where they target older and wealthier donors, without considering the opportunities that accessible estate planning provides. 

An online estate planning tool based on behavioral science (that is of no cost to the donors) can vastly expand an organization’s donor reach while multiplying known legacy intentions.

This is why we are thrilled to announce a partnership between Neon One and the most thoughtful online estate planning tool, Giving Docs

Giving Docs is a platform that can deepen your legacy giving program (sometimes referred to as planned giving), while increasing your ability to steward your donors towards legacy giving. 

Why Legacy Giving Programs Matter

Nationally, planned giving contributes 9% of overall revenue for the nonprofit sector, roughly $40 billion annually for US nonprofits. 

Donors who are a part of a nonprofit legacy society will be better brand ambassadors for the cause. This means they are more likely to volunteer, and will give more money annually for the rest of their lives.

For the donors, creating a legacy gift for a nonprofit makes them more involved in their community, and research tells us that these legacy donors actually make more money when they have this added reason to create wealth. 

By encouraging bequest commitments from donors to nonprofits, organizations can build predictable and substantial revenue streams for the sustainability of their mission. 

How Legacy Giving Programs Have Changed 

Traditionally, donors who have an affinity with an organization are educated in the options for planned giving and the benefits of joining the legacy society. The traditional model of securing planned gifts also includes identifying which donors make sense for long telephone conversations, in person visits at a donor’s home, personal letters, and contacting at events. 

Now there are tools that allow for cultivation of all donors at a lower cost to the organization, including drip emails and targeted direct mail. Individuals may feel more comfortable providing vital information to organizations through secure online platforms, and the traditional 3-5 year cycle for closing a planned gift can be dramatically reduced. 

With contemporary tools like Giving Docs, estate planning doesn’t always have to involve going to speak with a lawyer. Nonprofits with smaller operating budgets now have access to creating planned giving programs affordably in-house, or through planned giving specific vendors. Larger nonprofits also have many more tools at their disposal. 

The Impact Of The Pandemic 

Many nonprofits are hesitant to bring up mortality with their donors, especially while we continue to live in a pandemic/post-pandemic world. The initial onset of the pandemic forced everyone to consider their legacy and their impact on their community without necessarily being asked.

In fact, it may have broken down some barriers nonprofits face around planned giving communications and invited more donors to consider their options. 

How To Use Giving Docs To Support Your Legacy Giving Efforts. 

Giving Docs enables individuals to build meaningful legacies and empowers nonprofit organizations to amplify planned giving. This purpose-built tool helps people easily create their estate plan today and leave a legacy to organizations they believe in. 

Through platforms that are branded specifically for the nonprofit, Giving Docs software is shared with donors, inviting them to create their wills or other estate planning documents, all in under 20 minutes. Giving Docs uses messaging inspired by behavioral science to increase the amount and disclosure of legacy gifts. 

Legacy Giving can be a transformative element for nonprofit organizations and the individuals who include legacy gifts for nonprofits in their estate plan. Modernizing your planned giving approach and breaking down barriers for your donors through tools like Giving Docs increases the opportunity for impact on your mission critical work. 

Learn more about Giving Docs


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