Best practices for staying on track

A successful planned giving campaign requires a good planned giving committee, but John Elbare, founder and owner of Florida Philanthropic Advisors LLC in Sarasota, Fla., argues that a good committee is not just going to happen.

It takes a lot of work to create a good committee and keep it running smoothly. This means nonprofit managers must be ready and willing to do their part, from strategy to enabling operations.

Elbare suggests the following as best practices for keeping the committee on track and keeping committee work interesting:

  • Meet only two or three times each year and make the meetings interesting. Consider offering a continuing education (CE) credit presentation on a planned giving topic.
  • Publish a directory of planned giving committee members and make it available to volunteers, donors and board members.
  • Get out and visit each member at least once a year, building a personal relationship. Ask each member for some advice at least once a year.
  • Recognize committee members with plaques or certificates. List them on the organization’s Website and in its publications.
  • Invite them to all of the organization’s significant events. Suggest that they use these events to entertain their clients.
  • Treat committee members like VIPs in the organization.