The Blended Gift Is Here. Are You Prepared?

Variety of Flowers Depicting Major and Planned Gifts

Plan for what is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.

It’s time to think about major gifts beyond the checkbook. defines a blended gift as “one that includes an outright commitment as well as a planned gift.” To fully empower our donors, fundraisers must consider the long-term within the major giving sphere.

Thank about it — You cultivate, you discover. You steward, you engage. You ask … and you receive!

You thank … and then what? You drop and move on to the next prospect, the next check?

Not asking for a blended gift damages the donor relationship that you so carefully crafted, makes the donor feel abandoned (once that check is deposited) and is a missed opportunity for your organization.

A major gift is good. Industry standards recommend an ask of about ten times an annual gift — and with some luck and good will, your donors will hand over that cash. However, only 11% of wealth is found in liquid cash reserves, and our highest net worth donors did not gain that status by leaving their dollars in a bank account to molder.

They Have Assets

They have trusts. They have land. They have insurance. All of these require beneficiaries. If you aren’t giving your donors the option to make a planned gift of these assets, in addition to a major gift, you are losing what could be some of the largest gifts your organization may receive. By drawing from their most limited financial reserves, you are making giving harder for your donor.

A blended gift — usually in the form of a major gift and a bequest — allows donors to make a transformational gift during and after their lifetime, from their true financial capacity. It gives them a peak philanthropic fulfillment to aspire for. Bequest gifts are, on average, 274% larger than a donor’s lifetime giving. Don’t leave money on the table out of impatience! Time will yield your greatest returns, but as the old mantra goes, they won’t give if you don’t ask.

A blended gift also solidifies a lifelong relationship with your donor. Through even occasional stewardship, they feel that their major gift was not the end of their value and impact, that they are a sponge that was wrung out and disposed of. They are a member of the current and future change your organization creates. They are past, present, and future.

Before you pursue this new strategy, you must have the resources to support your donor throughout and after the process of asking for a blended gift. Luckily, sources of support like offer the support needed to create your planned giving program, even if you don’t have a planned giving officer — yet!

The blended ask is here. Your donors are ready, you are ready, and your organization can be ready with our help. Let’s start planning the future, today.

All of our blogs, products and services are proudly conceived, created, reviewed, and disseminated by real humans — not A.I. (artificial “intelligence.”)

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