I just read about the longtime volunteer who only gave $25 to a local animal shelter's annual fund, but then left a $1 million legacy gift. How does my camp get that?
Indeed, the largest transfer of wealth in history is occurring NOW! Legacy giving is the largest source of individual and family charitable donations. Those non-profit charities that position themselves to receive planned gifts will be the most financially stable in the future.
In 2008, JCamp 180 piloted a camp legacy program with six camps, modeled after the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation. Now we are working with nineteen camps across the country, bringing together lay and professional leaders committed to regular coaching and trainings on planned giving tools & solicitation approaches.
We all know the obstacles for any agency wanting to do planned giving:
- Emotional - "We don't want to talk about death"
- Intellectual - "We don't want to learn the financial and tax complexity of planned giving vehicles"
- Financial - "We need to spend our limited time getting donations for this year"
Our legacy training program addresses these blocks. The conversations with donors are not about death, but about the camp mission and the shared commitment to the camp's future. You don't need to be a tax attorney; you only need to know the basics as each donor must talk to their own financial advisor for details. And the legacy program offers two annual $10,000 incentive grants so the camp gets some money in the bank now instead of having to wait decades for bequests to arrive. Most significantly, camps in the legacy program have deepened their relationship with their donors as donors increase both their emotional and financial investment in "their" camps.