Support from the Top | Standard 1

The nonprofit has a current organizational strategic plan with a powerful, compelling vision for the future.


  A current strategic plan is accessible to staff and constituents

  Mission, vision, history of organization, corporate values and goals clearly describe the impact the organization intends to have

  Staff and board review strategic plan at least annually 


  Strategic Planning for Nonprofits (National Council of Nonprofits)

  Elements of a Vision Statement (BoardSource)

  5 Phases of Strategic Planning (BoardSource)

  Example: Strategic Framework (BoardSource)

  Sample/model goals and related strategies and Business Planning for Nonprofits: What It Is and Why It Matters (Bridgespan Group) 

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)

Donor-Centric Engagement and Management | Standard 12

The nonprofit has a compelling, urgent, visionary case for donor near-term and long-term organizational support.

Maybe you need to refine your case for support and hire people who strongly believe in it. NSGPS offers model case statements and tools to guide the process of strengthening your case.


  The organization has an external case for near-term support that is current and easily accessible by staff and donors

  The organization has an external case for long-term support that is current and easily accessible by staff and donors

  Case statements are integrated across all marketing platforms


  Developing Your Case for Support: Involving the Donor (Margaret Guellich and Lynda Lysakowski--book excerpt)

 Creating a Case Statement: Step by Step Guidebook (Nonprofit Learning Lab)

  Seeing Through a Donor's Eyes: How to Make a Persuasive Case for Everything from Your Annual Drive to Your Planned Giving Program to Your Capital Campaign (Tom Ahern--book)

 Sample Case Statements (Kirsten Bullock, The Nonprofit Academy)

 Your Case for Support: Good Design Will Make It Stronger (Jenny Winton, Mission Minded)

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 15

The nonprofit integrates gift planning messaging in all its marketing, and all marketing and messaging position donors as partners/investors in mission and clearly acknowledges the donor’s role in the nonprofit’s mission success.


  The organization has a calendar for marketing that coordinates messaging across organizational units

  All planned gift marketing messages (including acknowledgments, thank yous, welcome kits, appeals, newsletters, web pages, etc.) are audited in conjunction with the organization’s overall marketing calendar at least annually for consistency and currency of message and branding

  Profiles of planned gift donors are included in web and print marketing


  FREE Moving from Tactics to Strategy: Finding the Secret Sauce for Your Gift Planning Marketing (Kathryn Miree)

  Visualized Autobiography and Donor Stories: Good for Your Donors, Good for Your Organization (Elissa Leif)

  Getting the Most ROI from Your Planned Giving Marketing Investment (Phyllis Freedman)

  The Coming Gift Boom and The Art of Integrated Marketing (Andrew Ragone)

  Developing a Proactive Planned Giving Marketing Plan (Timothy Logan)