CCS’s partnership with Holocaust Museum LA (HMLA) serves as a helpful example of how to design an effective planned giving program.

Today, many nonprofit organizations round out their annual and major gift efforts with programs focused on planned giving. Implementing a planned giving program can be an effective way to diversify revenue streams and move donors along a continuum of commitment to your organization similar to the one shown below.

Recently, CCS partnered with Holocaust Museum LA (HMLA) to design a planned giving program that will be rolled out to a select cross-section of donors in the near future. HMLA felt it both important and relevant to increase emphasis on planned giving, particularly because the concept of honoring legacy is a central theme in their mission to “commemorate those who perished, honor those who survived, educate about the Holocaust, and inspire a more dignified and humane world.” Holocaust Museum LA CEO, Beth Kean, said, “With an aging community of survivors, we had long wanted to create a proactive planned giving program to offer families opportunities to make an enduring, meaningful gift that will impact future generations. We just didn’t know where to get started. After CCS helped us launch a successful capital campaign, we knew their team of strategic fundraising experts would be the perfect partner to guide us on a legacy program.”

Many of the volunteers at the heart of the Museum’s programming are Holocaust survivors now in their 90’s. Others have parents, grandparents, or other family members who escaped or perished during the Holocaust. Couple this history with statistics on the alarming increase of hate crimes and extremism in our society today, and the need for HMLA’s work to endure is evident. A successful planned giving program provides a unique opportunity to quickly scale an organization’s endowment as well as meet more immediate cash needs. At HMLA, such a program will help ensure that the Museum’s vital work continues in perpetuity.

In order to develop a planned giving program tailored to the Museum, CCS conducted a gift planning assessment and first sought to understand the attitudes about and proficiency with planned giving that exist within HMLA’s universe of donors. HMLA’s unique legacy-focused culture combined with the Jewish concepts of tzedakah and tikkun olam – moral obligation to give charitably and to repair the world – suggested that such a program would flourish at the Museum; however, it was important to see this intuition confirmed by data. Thus, we worked with HMLA to isolate a strong set of planned giving prospects and invited them to participate in a survey that gathered qualitative and quantitative data related to donor satisfaction, engagement, and interest in planned giving. What we learned about this community was encouraging and provided us with the basis for developing the materials, events, and messaging that now compose HMLA’s planned giving program.

The program was designed to start small and eventually grow into a more robust operation as HMLA expands its staff and expertise with various gift planning vehicles. Initial focus was placed on developing the following materials:

Creating the simple tools above as well as the talking points and communications plan to introduce them to potential donors were foundational steps in crafting what will undoubtedly be a strong planned giving program at Holocaust Museum LA. CCS looks forward to our continued partnership with HMLA as they embark on implementing and growing their planned giving program for the benefit of their donors and mission.

If you have questions about exploring gift planning work at your organization, please contact