How to add bequests to the fundraising mix

Any fundraising program gains strength when it includes a planned giving element, and the leading source of planned gifts is donor bequests. That’s what makes next week’s MVDP program so compelling.

Tanya Howe Johnson, who led the national planned giving organization for more than 18 years, said, “Today’s chief development officer knows a strong planned giving program is integral to a healthy fundraising strategy.”

It fits with any donor-centered fundraising program. Marc Weinstein, vice principal of development and alumni relations at McGill University, said, “Planned giving allows us to be more sensitive to donors’ changing situations. Helping donors achieve their vision…underscores how much the institution values donor involvement.”

A study done for the Council for Aid to Education found that 80 percent of planned giving monies come from bequests.

To learn about starting and developing a bequest program, come to the MVDP meeting Thursday, May 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Salem Conference Center, 200 Commercial St. SE, Salem. MVDP has teamed with LEAVE A LEGACY of the Mid-Willamette Valley, The Oregon Community Foundation and the Diamond Peak Group of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to bring the program to Salem.

Featured speaker is Debra Ashton, national consultant and author of The Complete Guide to Planned Giving. She will explain how even small nonprofits can start a bequest program in 60 days. She also will describe ways to develop major gifts and endowments. Salem attorney Eden Rose Brown will address legal issues around bequests. Mike Egan and Bob Dernedde will explain how they successfully launched a bequest program for the Cascade Pacific Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Register for the program at The attendance fee is $50. MVDP season pass holders have already paid. They should indicate their attendance by e-mailing The deadline for registrations is Tuesday, May 8.

This entry was posted in bequest giving, donors, endowment, fundraising, major gifts, MVDP, philanthropy, planned giving, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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