Year-end fundraising campaigns are an opportunity to provide donors with every possible option to support your mission.

Fall is almost officially here, so your organization’s year-end fundraising campaign will soon be underway.

Year-end giving is critical to engage and motivate your supporters as they reflect on the past and anticipate the future. When putting together your fundraising strategy, do not forget to include the planned giving vehicles. Gift planning can play a pivotal role in shaping the success of your year-end campaign and advancing your mission over the long term. Additionally, year-end fundraising campaigns are an opportunity to provide donors with every possible option to support your organization’s mission.

Most organizations see the majority of their funds raised in the last three months of the calendar year. That’s because donors are often motivated by the spirit of generosity and to take advantage of potential tax breaks. Nonprofits have a unique opportunity to capitalize on these factors, realizing the short-term goals of cash while prioritizing assets donated that are considered future cash.

Planned giving methods

Various planned giving vehicles are available to implement during your year-end fundraising campaign, enabling your donors to make thoughtful and structured contributions. Beyond the immediate traditional cash donations, individuals can integrate their long-term philanthropy goals into their overall financial and estate planning.

Here are a few planned giving vehicles to consider in the context of year-end fundraising campaigns:

Retirement Accounts

You can uncover plenty of hidden opportunities when you communicate with your donors about donating their retirement accounts, such as IRAs or 401(k), which grew to $39 trillion in 2021. 


A bequest is a gift made through a will or a trust that designates a portion of the donor’s estate to your nonprofit. This popular and straightforward method allows donors to make significant contributions without impacting their financial situation.

Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs)

A CGA involves a donor making a gift of cash or other assets to your organization in exchange for a fixed annual income for themselves or a loved one. This gift provides donors with a dependable income stream while supporting your mission. If you are unsure if your organization is capable of providing this type of planned giving vehicle, the American Council on Gift Annuities provides helpful information about CGAs.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Donors can establish charitable remainder trusts that allow them to transfer assets into a trust that provides income to beneficiaries for a specific period. After the trust term concludes, the remaining assets come to your organization.

Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs)

DAFs allow individuals to contribute assets to a fund managed by a charitable organization. Donors receive an immediate tax benefit and can recommend how funds are distributed to your organization over time. You can leverage the DAF ecosystem to drive philanthropic revenue at your organization.

Life Insurance Policies

Donors can designate your organization as a life insurance policy beneficiary. Donors can leverage existing policies or buy new ones, which could mean substantial future cash for your organization.

Planned Giving Allows for Deeper Donor Relationships

Adding planned giving vehicles into your year-end campaign allows donors to build deeper, more meaningful connections with your nonprofit. By educating your donors about your impact, you also provide an invitation to support in other meaningful ways.

Immediate cash will always remain essential, but you should also plan for future cash.

Implementation is the key, and here are some ideas:

The only way to ensure you receive future cash gifts is to announce that donors can give these types of gifts.

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