Planned Giving: Assessing Your Fundraising Team

Planned gifts are not an easy ask. It often means that, well, the donor has died or is planning on what’s next in their lives. Timing is everything. There also are benchmarks.

Ronald Jordan and Katelyn Quynn, in their book, “Planned Giving For Small Nonprofits,” describe what it takes to start a planned giving program, as well as some of the metrics and benchmarks for staff. They include:

  • A planned giving staff member should be able to raise a minimum of two to three times their annual salary after their first year.
  • Successful planned giving officers who’ve been with an organization for more than three years should raise 10 times their annual salary.
  • Staff should have quantifiable goals, such as producing a minimum of 15 significant planned gifts per year, a little more than one per month.

Gifts do not happen accidentally. They occur primarily because staff members pursue prospects and there is a formal program for follow-up, according to Jordan and Quynn, so encourage staff to pursue prospects that have become stale and remind that the organization seeks their support.