Support from the Top | Standard 2

The nonprofit has a strong internal business case for gift planning embraced by management and Board.


  Credible external research on demographic and philanthropic trends informs the business case

  The organization has data to support its average estate gift size and known to unknown gifts ratio

  The organization measures its cost to raise a dollar and return on investment for planned gift fundraising over a 10-year period

  The internal case is available for review and is presented periodically, especially at times of organizational change or leadership transition


  FREE Planned Giving in the Big Picture: Talking About Your Numbers to the People Who Count (Steven Meyers and Bill Samers)

  FREE Building Organizational Passion and Commitment for Gift Planning (Elaine Eberhart)

 CGP Link Resource Collection—Research filter

  "Counting, Numbers, Value and the Big Picture," (Steven Meyers--excerpt from Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix)

  Winning Hearts and Minds INSIDE Your Organization: Becoming Your Best Planned Giving Program Advocate (Cathy Sheffield and Patrick Schmitt)

  The Case for Gift Planning: Analyzing the Cost to Raise a Planned Gift Dollar (Kristen Dugdale)

  Planned Giving: Getting Everyone on Board (or at least not jumping ship) (Aviva Boedecker)

Support from the Top | Standard 3

Each member of the nonprofit’s management team is committed to relationship-based, collaborative fundraising and sees gift planning as an integral part of the donor experience across all lines of fundraising.


  Fundraising expectations, roles and responsibilities for managers, executives and volunteer leaders are clearly documented 

  All fundraisers, adjacent staff and volunteer leaders receive training on planned and noncash gifts at least annually

  All fundraisers have goals and metrics that encourage them to engage all donors in gift planning conversations


  FREE Sharing the Legacy: Promoting Gift Planning Through Trustee Engagement (Nancy Baker and Abby Favro)

  Engaging the Board in Planned Giving: Governance and Marketing (Kathryn Miree)

  Making Your Board an Effective Partner on your Fundraising Team (Julia Ingraham Walker)

  Board Fundraising Policy: Key Elements, Practical Tips, and Sample Policy (BoardSource)

Support from the Top | Standard 4

The nonprofit has clear policies to manage risk and ensure accountability to donors and the nonprofit and the public.


The following policies are documented and accessible to staff and donors: 

  Gift counting policy for donor recognition and reporting of progress toward annual and/or campaign goals

  Gift valuation policy to specify how deferred gifts are valued in current dollars

  Gift acceptance policies for all types of gifts and assets that the charity will accept

  Naming policies

  Donor recognition policies

  Stewardship policies

  Endowment management policies

  Donor data management policies

  Gift administration policies


  FREE Creating and Implementing Effective Planned Giving Program Policies and Procedures (Phil Purcell)

  FREE Sorry, We Really Can't Accept Your Mouse Trap! Candidly Exploring the Acceptance and Counting of Unique, Complex and Special Planned Gifts (Philip Watson)

  Effective Gift Acceptance Policies and Procedures (David Wheeler Newman)

  Model Long-Term Gift Agreement and Gift Acceptance Policies and Procedures (National Association of Charitable Gift Planners)

  Gift Acceptance Guidelines (Santa Clara University) 

  Fundraising Counting and Reporting Policy (Humboldt State University) 

  Gift Acceptance, Counting and Reporting Policy (Carnegie Mellon University)

  The Elements Of A Good Gift Acceptance Policy (Jon Tidd, Trusts & Estates, September 20, 2019) 

  Best Practices in Donor Recognition (ADRP/AASP)

  Best Practices: Gift Acknowledgement (ADRP/AASP)

The Ability and Capacity to Execute | Standard 11

The nonprofit has qualified staff in place to drive and support the gift planning process.


  Job descriptions for all development personnel are up to date and easily accessible to staff

  There is a standard orientation process for all new hires that includes review of strategic plan and all gift planning policies, procedures and metrics

  All fundraisers receive performance reviews annually

  The organization has access to technical expertise on staff or through volunteers or paid counsel


  FREE "Hiring, Motivating and Retaining High Impact Charitable Planners" (Kathryn Miree and Jeff Comfort)

  "How to Identify, Hire and Retain the 'Perfect' Planned Giving Officer," (Kathryn Miree)

  "The Six Faces of Gift-planning Officers," (Kathryn Miree, Planned Giving Today, December 2013)

  FREE "A Nonprofit Organization's Guide to Engaging an Executive Search Firm," Bridgespan Group

 Building Sustainable "Best in Class" Fundraising Teams (Steve Goodner)

  CGP Career Center

Donor-Centric Engagement and Management | Standard 13

All donors and prospects are offered timely, accurate gift planning information to ethically maximize the donor’s charitable impact and personal benefit.


  The organization formally endorses the Donor Bill of Rights and CGP Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner

  All fundraisers receive training on planned gift tools and techniques and ethical issues at least quarterly

  Donor-focused information about gift planning opportunities is included on the organization’s web site and in print materials 

  Internal resources (staff, web site, mailings, gift illustration software etc.) and external resources (technical advisors) are available to answer donor questions


  FREE How to Train Your DO: Deploy an Army of Skilled Gift Planners (Katherine Kotlzrczyk)

  Training Boot Camp (Alexandria Brovey)

  Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner (National Association of Charitable Gift Planners)

  Donor Bill of Rights (Association of Fundraising Professionals)

Donor-Centric Engagement and Management | Standard 16

The nonprofit has a donor-centric culture that meets the needs of each donor.


  The organization tracks retention for all donors and reviews statistics annually and for a 10-year period

  The organization tracks Legacy Society members as a group and reports data on their giving and engagement annually 

  The organization seeks feedback from donors regularly to understand communication preferences and solicit feedback 


  FREE Donor Insights: Why Planned Gifts Remain Secret (Katherine Kotlarczyk and Gordon Trafton)

  Donor Retention: What Do We Know and What Can We Do About It? (Adrian Sargeant)

  Commission on the Donor Experience Studies (Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration)

  Leaving a Legacy: A New Look at Planned Giving Donors (Giving USA Special Report)