[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

August 11, 2016

Valuing Estate Valuations

Inspiring donors to share the value of their estate gifts has many advantages. Estate valuations can provide momentum to inspire larger commitments. They give organizations the ability to steward and recognize donors in a way that assures gifts are realized. They give donors the peace of mind to know their intent will be honored.

Here are ways your organization can increase estate valuations:

Build a culture that sees the "value" in estate valuations

It's important to create a culture where valuation is embraced and celebrated. Look for ways to recognize donors internally and externally. Share lists of these donors at board meetings so that board members understand how important donors are to the current and future success of your organization.

Create clear standards for valuation that donors and staff understand
If you don't already have processes in place to value estate gifts, you should start today. Create "Letters of Intent" that give donors the ability to tell you what they are leaving your organization (bequests, trusts, insurance policies, etc.) and how much they are leaving your organization (percentage or specific amount). Provide staff and leadership with regular updates on new valued estate commitments.

Integrate estate valuation with current giving
If a donor makes a $250,000 gift and values an estate commitment for $750,000, does your organization recognize that as a million-dollar gift? The way you answer that question will say a lot about how donor-centric your program is and how important estate valuation is to your organization. The more you accurately value a donor's commitment, the closer that donor will be to your mission, which may set up larger gifts from them in the future.

Develop ways to value estate commitments and you, too, will increase donors' impact, as well cultivate better relationships with donors in order to help your organization better achieve its mission.

Michael Barvick, Director, Gift Planning, The Heritage Foundation (Washington, D.C.)


logoJoin Us on the Growing Philanthropy Tour

Next stops on the road to achieving Hartsook's mission of growing philanthropy by 25 percent in the next 20 years:

Kansas City
August 15, 2016

Inspired Fundraising Summit
Adrian Sargeant
Jen Shang

Charlotte, N.C.
August 18, 2016

2016 NC AFP Statewide Conference
"Sustainable Fundraising"
Karin Cox
Janell Johnson

New Orleans
August 24-26, 2016

Boy Scouts of America Top Hands
Matt Beem
Ross Pfannenstiel
Tammy Weinman

Brussels, Belgium
August 30-September 2, 2016

CASE Europe Annual Conference
"Outstanding Fundraising: Just What is the Role of Boards?"
Adrian Sargeant

Washington, D.C.
September 15, 2016

NonProfit Times Power and Influence Gala
Hartsook Sponsor

Kansas City
October 26, 2016

Shepherd's Centers of America
National Conference
Karin Cox

Kansas City
November 2016

AFP Mid-America Chapter
National Philanthropy Day
Hartsook Sponsor

November 18, 2016

National Philanthropy Day
"Relationship Buidling: What Works and What Doesn't"
"Donor Retention and Loyalty"
Adrian Sargeant

November 22-23, 2016

Directory of Social Change Fundraising Fair 2016
Adrian Sargeant

Oklahoma City
August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Relationship Building: Where Do We Go From Here?"
Adrian Sargeant

August 2017

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits
"Massive Fundraising"
Adrian Sargeant

Past Stops on the Tour

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Strategies for Success explores smart ideas, connecting with thousands of fundraising professionals. We welcome your best practices contributions or comments. Send to Strategies for Success editor Karin Cox, [email protected]. If you'd like a free subscription to Strategies for Success or its monthly companion, eHartsook on Philanthropy, contact [email protected].

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