Watch Your Step


What does a review of your planned giving program have in common with taking photos at the Grand Canyon or kayaking on the Niagara River?

The time for a detailed look at your surroundings isn’t just as one goes over the cliff (or waterfall)!  Instead, the time to take action is when you’re further removed from the edge, when decisions can be more reflective and less reactive.  An audit of your planned giving program – or of a specific aspect of it, such as gift annuities or marketing  – provides that detailed look.  Such a review should be done periodically as a positive and proactive step in building and maintaining a healthy program.

Some clues to look for in your surroundings, indicating an audit may be needed, are:

  • Reorganization or change in staff
  • Concern about adequacy of gift annuity reserves 
  • Downward trend in completed gifts or identified bequest intentions over a multiyear period
  • Drop in dollars received, from realized bequests or terminated CGAs or other life income gifts

A review of selected indicators can help you anticipate changes that are likely to affect your program, or alert you to changes that have perhaps happened without your knowledge.  In either case, these indicators provide an opportunity to make adjustments going forward, and to keep your program running smoothly and efficiently... and far away from the cliff’s edge! 

Do you review your planned giving program on a regular basis? Let us know in the comments section!

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