Several years ago, while visiting Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) – part of my work with the SUNY system – I was taken for a tour and we stopped at their on-campus “restaurant” (part of their award winning Culinary Arts program).
I took one look around the historic dinning room (their main campus building had been a classic old hotel), and said to myself: “we have now crossed into the Planned Giving zone.”
The dining room was full with planned giving prospects (i.e. older residents of the area, not alumni) enjoying their weekly day out to taste the delicacies that the students cooked up.
I turned to my client and said that their planned giving program starts with this audience, in this location (plan your PG event for the dining room, invite these regulars, etc..). For community colleges, alumni are not always the best prospects (maybe they moved on to 4-year colleges or never saw the college as place for their philanthropy).
But, people who benefited from their institution being a significant local presence – not just through dining but perhaps courses and other programs for locals (I have seen community colleges do very well in planned giving!) – can be a phenomenal source of planned giving prospects.
Mid-winter break trip to Boca Raton Florida:
Yes, we just got back from 6 days in Boca Raton, Florida, visiting Bubby/Papa and hanging around Century Village.
And, guess what, we have all now just crossed over into the Planned Giving zone!
Just like the dinning room at SCCC, where the typical age of the dinners caught my attention (as well as their enjoyment of what SCCC offered), when you see an older population in action, it’s a sign that organizations in that area need to step up Planned Giving.
The Covid effect:
I went to the synagogue in Century Village several times and observed everyone with their masks and that for the most part, everyone has gone through scares of dying – due to Covid and/or other ailments.
And, this just got me realizing that now more than ever, this country has or is about to cross over into the Planned Giving zone. There is no reason for organizations to wait – the bulk of your best donors are waiting already in the Planned Giving zone, you just need to enter yourself and start the conversation!