We know your fundraising efforts are focused on gaining support for today’s operations. But omitting endowment and legacy giving from your regular messaging translates into lost opportunities. Don’t worry…you don’t need to be an expert in gift planning or invest a lot of time or money. And it doesn’t have to detract from your current fundraising. You just have to let your donors know you’re planning for the future and show them how they can help. Our easy-to-customize materials are a simple way to incorporate endowment and legacy messages into your own donor communication.
Communicate. It’s often said that people need to hear or see something seven times before they take action. Giving to your fund should be mentioned in some way in all of your communications, both spoken and written. It doesn’t have to detract from annual giving, and some donors will really appreciate that you’re building future sustainability for your organization.
Educate. Be sure to let people know how they can give. Include a link to our online giving page on your website and social media pages. Let people know about the simple and free options to leave legacy gifts to the fund, and help dispel the myth that only the wealthy can leave planned gifts.
Celebrate. Let your people know how your fund is doing. Thank donors publicly when new gifts come in…create a special designation for those who plan future gifts…tell stories of what the fund is doing or will make possible. If you don’t have a bank of good stories yet, give us a call. We have abundant examples that you can use to inspire your donors.
Endowment funds are a natural fit for donors who want to leave legacy gifts, which tend to be some of the largest gifts people are able to give. While 70% of Americans give charitably during their lifetimes, only 10% take the step of leaving a gift through their estate. And the number one reason that people don’t leave legacy gifts is because they weren’t asked to. We know Muskegon County can do better…especially if our entire nonprofit community is sharing the same message. We are happy to talk with you, your board, a group of your constituents, or an individual donor about giving to your fund. We all benefit when the organizations in our community have sustainable funding sources…let us help you build yours!
People often need to hear or see a message seven times before they act. Using these simple messages throughout your communications can be a consistent reminder to your donors. Place them on letterhead, as a “PS” in letters or emails, in your newsletter, on your website, as social media posts, on your gift envelopes, in your email signature, etc.
- A gift to the [organization]’s endowment fund is an investment in the future.
- Anyone can leave a legacy gift! Simply name XYZ’s Endowment Fund as a beneficiary of your savings, checking, or retirement account.
- Remember, you can provide for [organization]’s future with a gift in your will.
- Help us build our future – give to our endowment fund at muskegonfoundation.org/give-now
- You’ve made an impact through your giving. A gift to our endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County today or through your estate will ensure your support…forever.
- Is it time to update your will or trust? Please consider designating a gift to the [organization’s] endowment fund at the Community Foundation.
- Do you have a retirement account or life insurance policy? If so, you can name [our organization/fund] as a beneficiary of it and continue your support of our work after you’re gone. Ask your plan administrator or agent for the form to make this simple, no-cost change.
- If you’ve named [our organization/fund] in your will or as a future beneficiary, please let us know. We want to thank you!
- Remembering the [organization/fund] in your estate plan means there will always be [meals for kids/hospice care/music/clean water, etc.]. Learn more about your giving options by contacting [name].
- Make a lasting contribution toward a better [neighborhood/community/education/environment]. Contact [name] to learn how you can leave a legacy.
- Your love for [your organization/community/school/church] can live on through a gift to the [organization]’s endowment fund.
- While 70% of us give charitably during our lifetimes, only 10% leave a gift through our estates. We can do better! Leave a gift to our endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.
- Love [organization] – Leave 5%!
- Did you know we’re planning for our future? Help us by giving an extra gift to boost our endowment fund at the CFMC.
- Muskegon Public Schools teacher Shirley Fett left a six-figure gift to the Big Red Education Fund through her will, meaning each year more teachers have the classroom “extras” that can make such a difference in students’ lives. Have you thought about what a gift from your estate would allow our organization to do in the future?
- Because of [Edith Anderson’s] estate gift, [hospice care] is available to more people. What will your legacy be?
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“We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Recording Company rejecting the Beatles, 1962
The future is hard to predict. But one thing we do know is that we will need resources to fuel our mission in the years to come. That’s why we’ve created the [your organization] endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.
Our fund is professionally invested for the long-term, and each year, 4% of the average fund balance is available to us to support our ongoing needs. The Foundation handles all administrative details and investment responsibilities for our fund, freeing us to concentrate on our mission.
[Include a couple lines about your mission or a mention of someone who has given to your fund or left a legacy gift.] George & Jane Donor believe in the importance of our work, which is why they’ve been giving to our fund each year in addition supporting our current operations.
We hope you will consider playing a part in our future. To learn more, please contact [your staff contact] or Heidi Sytsema at the Community Foundation at 231.332.4107 or email@example.com.
Did you know that [organization] has an endowment fund with the Community Foundation for Muskegon County?
Building future support to sustain our work in the community is important to us. [Add a line or two about what you do.]
While we still need your direct support for our current operations, we want you to know that anyone can contribute to [organization’s] future with an endowment gift of any size! You can add to our fund today, and think about leaving a future gift through your estate. It’s the perfect way to show your love for your community and to leave your legacy for future generations. It does not require great wealth. It requires generosity of spirit and the desire to share what you have for the benefit of others!
Contributions to our endowment fund are tax deductible and can take many forms. To learn more about making a gift to the [organization] endowment fund, contact [your staff contact] or Heidi Sytsema at the Community Foundation at 231.332.4107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can make an important investment in [your organization] that costs you nothing during your lifetime!
By making the [your organization]’s endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan, you can be assured that your gift will receive expert stewardship and help us meet our mission well into the future.
Using a beneficiary designation form available through your plan administrator, you can specify the entire account or simply a percentage of it. By directing the benefit to “the [organization]’s endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization,” you are making a lasting gift that does not require that you make changes to your will and trust documents. It’s easy and free!
To learn more about making a gift to the [organization]’s endowment fund, please contact [your staff contact] or Heidi Sytsema at the Community Foundation at 231.332.4107 or email@example.com.
While you know we depend greatly on the gifts you give us for our annual operating budget, we want you to know that we are planning for our organization’s future by building an endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.
If you feel good about the impact you’re making with your gifts today, we hope you’ll consider an extra gift to the Fund to ensure that your impact continues far into the future! There are some easy ways to do that:
- Write a check to the Community Foundation, with our Fund name in the memo line, and drop it in the mail to them at 425 W. Western Ave., Ste. 200, Muskegon MI 49440. Or give online right now at www.muskegonfoundation.org/give-now and select our Fund from the options.
- Transfer appreciated stock by having your financial advisor contact the Foundation (231.722.4538 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to let them know it’s for our Fund, and they’ll handle all the details from there.
- Plan a future gift. An easy, free way is to update your beneficiary designation form on a retirement account or life insurance policy. Instead of leaving 100% to your family, you can split it so that a percentage goes to the Community Foundation for our Fund (again, be sure to specify!). Or you can work with your attorney to write a bequest into your will or trust, or craft a more complex arrangement that meets your needs. For more information, you can contact [our staff] or Heidi Sytsema at the Foundation at 231.332.4107 or email@example.com. If you do a planned gift, we hope you’ll let us know so we can thank you and be sure we understand what you’d like your gift to do!
Your gifts mean so much to this community. Thank you for being steady supporters of the work we’re doing together today, and thank you for considering an extra gift to the future!
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