AHP Connect Articles

AHP Connect delivers updates on industry news and research, educational and professional opportunities, best practices and other articles related to health care philanthropy.

Nurturing Lifelong Generosity with Planned Giving

Olivia Hairfield
Published:  02/28/2024
Two people holding hands


In the world of philanthropy, planned giving stands out as a strategic approach to securing long-term support for your organization. It empowers individuals to leave a lasting legacy through charitable donations. However, simply stewarding a donor to include your organization in their will, and then forgetting about them, isn't a viable strategy in today's dynamic world. In this article, we'll explore tactics for nurturing legacy giving relationships and share helpful insights from author and presenter Wayne Olson.

Basic Tips for Successful Planned Giving with Wayne Olson

While planned giving can encompass various elements such as wills, stocks, trusts, and annuities, don’t get bogged down in complexity. Donors care most about the impact of their gift, so make sure to highlight how their gift will make a difference. Wayne recommends these tips to simplify the conversation around planned giving:


  1. Clear Communication:
    Make sure your donors know you accept planned gifts by mentioning it on your website, in emails, and in conversation. Keep your messaging clear, concise, and caring.
  2. Targeted Outreach:
    Planned giving donors tend to think differently about giving. Their focus is on the long-term. Make sure to tailor messages specifically to them for maximum impact.

  3. Celebrate and Thank:
    Legacy donors deserve special attention. Recognize and celebrate planned gifts and express gratitude to donors. Invite them to witness the impact of their gift. A legacy society can be a great recognition program, but it’s also a good way to encourage continued engagement.


Engagement: The Lifeline of Lifelong Giving

Legacy donors require ongoing attention. They often give earlier in life, which means longer-lasting relationships. Engaging legacy donors is critical not only for retention but also for inspiring additional gifts. As relationships deepen, donors become more committed and even familial in their affinity toward your organization. Building an emotional connection is essential, and including your donor’s extended family can deepen that connection. Invite the donor’s children to participate in your events or offer them a tour. By inspiring your donor’s family to be just as passionate about your organization, your donor’s legacy will live on in their participation.


Taking the Next Step: Legacy Giving Societies

A legacy giving society can provide additional benefits for donors that help cultivate a familial connection with your organization. A society provides a communal collective for donors to come together with others who share their commitment to the hospital's mission. Members of the society often form a philanthropic network that goes beyond financial contributions, providing a platform for shared values and a collective desire to make a lasting impact on healthcare. Exclusive events, recognition ceremonies, and regular updates on the impact of legacy gifts help nurture a strong bond between the hospital and its benefactors.

In addition to fostering community, legacy giving societies also contribute to the hospital's public image and reputation. Highlighting the generosity of individuals who have chosen to leave a legacy fosters a culture of giving within the broader community. This positive perception can attract new donors, volunteers, and supporters, creating a ripple effect that extends the hospital's reach and influence.

In the world of planned giving, relationships and engagement are paramount. Donors who choose to leave a legacy want to feel connected and appreciated. By implementing these strategies and principles, organizations can foster lifelong philanthropy and ensure that the donor’s legacy lives on.



NEWS  /07/27/22
Planned giving conversations are complex, but they don't have to be scary. Here are some tips from the AHP Madison Institute to get you started.
NEWS  /06/15/23
Legacy giving programs can be daunting, Lesley Heighway, president and CEO at Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation, has advice so it doesn't have to be.
NEWS  /06/22/21
How an effective planned giving marketing strategy can accelerate gift income.

Meet The Author

Olivia Hairfield
Marketing Senior Manager
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

Share This

facebook-icon twitter-icon linkedin-icon