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Blackbaud CRM™ Planned or Deferred Gifts Best Practices

All fundraisers understand the importance of Planned or Deferred Gifts for their organization. Typically, a Planned Gift is one that has been cultivated over a long period of time and has a very personal meaning for the donor who gives it.

Often, Planned Gifts are among the largest an organization will receive. But Planned Gifts are complex and most likely have attorney or financial advisor involvement to help move along the gift administration process. Nearly every organization I have worked with - as both a fundraiser and a consultant - has a Planned Giving department full of people exceptionally well-versed in the many facets of Planned Giving.

However, from software standpoint, prior to the implementation of Blackbaud CRM(™) many legacy systems could not manage the level of detail Planned Gifts require. Data was tracked on spreadsheets and tracked through the creation of pledges and payments. CRM changes all of that! Here are a few best practice tips ensure your organization maximizes the features of Planned Gifts in CRM:

  1. Review your Planned Giving Vehicles and Subtypes during conversion. Do you have a spreadsheet full of Planned Giving vehicles and subtypes? Because CRM has a hard-coded list of vehicle types, it is imperative to map existing planned gifts correctly for reporting purposes. Do you have too many subtypes? The Planned Gift add forms have numerous fields (i.e. Revocable, Gift is Contingent? Living Trust?, etc.) that may help you consolidate the numerous subtypes you may have now and allow for cleaner querying and reporting.

  2. Use Major Giving Plans to track Planned Giving activities. Although there is not a separate Prospect Plan in CRM designed solely for Planned Giving, using Major Giving Plans with a Plan Type to indicate a Planned Gift will enhance your tracking and reporting capabilities. It’s an excellent way for your Planned Giving department to measure the important work that they do. Consider using a Living Plan type for vehicles such as Charitable Gift Annuities and a Decedent Plan for activities after a bequest is realized.

  3. Do you use Planned Giving Manager (PG Manager (™)) and PG Calc (™)? CRM has an amazing import tool baked right in that will complete all of the information from your PG Manager (™) illustrations.

  4. Utilize all the fields on the Planned Gifts tab. CRM provides the ability to track Relationships for a Planned Gift, including attorneys, financial advisors, and other family members or beneficiaries. This allows an excellent view into anyone associated with the gift using the Relationships tab on the Planned Gift itself. Are there Assets associated? Use the Assets tab to track real property or stock.

  5. Adding a Planned Gift as Revenue. This is the most crucial step in the Planned Gifts process. Each vehicle requires a set of criteria to be met prior to adding a Planned Gift as Revenue. There is a very handy chart embedded into CRM through the Help feature - just click on the Help question mark from a Planned Giving screen for details.

A few things to keep in mind when adding Planned Gifts as Revenue:

  • The Planned Gift form in Prospects acts as an “expectancy” or pledge for the Planned Gift. Until it is added as Revenue, it will not show up in the Donor’s Revenue history as a commitment.

  • All gifts added as revenue must have an associated designation. If the designation is unknown or has yet to be created, we recommend setting up a “dummy” designation to use as a holding account.

  • When you add a planned gift as revenue, you can select whether to generate general ledger distributions for the gift.

  • A system-defined Planned Giver constituency will be added when the gift is added as Revenue.

  • If your organization uses Recognition Credit to report on Planned Giving donors, the Planned Gift must be added as Revenue in order to apply Recognition Credit.

For more information about Planned Gifts or other features in Blackbaud CRM (™), contact the team at BrightVine.

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