“Blended” giving is a buzzword for gift planners, but has anyone caught on? In interviews with major gift officers at all kinds of charitable organizations around the U.S., PPP board members have been asking how many blended gifts the MGOs have worked on. The answers suggest that the definition of “blended” isn’t quite settled. All of these gifts were mentioned by interview subjects.
- a combination of outright gift and volunteer hours
- outright gifts that benefit more than one school or division of the same organization
- a gift that includes both cash and a check
The interviewers also spoke to many MGOs who said they had experience with blended gifts but couldn’t specifically describe one. They often worked in 90s-style, siloed development operations, where they had the luxury of turning the planned gift component over to a specialist. However, the 90s are long gone, and those who didn’t have an in-house expert usually weren’t attempting a blended ask.
For many donors, the most meaningful gift will engage both current resources and assets that need to be transferred to charity in the future. But with fewer full-time gift planners working in the nonprofit world, the most meaningful gift often isn’t even proposed. MGOs could use more skill, and more confidence, in blended gift fundraising. And, apparently, they could start with a good definition.
If your job includes major giving, or you work closely with MGOs on blended gifts, then please share your stories about specific gifts and your thoughts about a donor-focused definition for gifts that are sometimes, unfortunately, lumped together as “complex.”
Connect with the Author: Barbara Yeagar, Director of Operations, Partnership for Philanthropic Planning
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Member of PPP? Access these articles by searching their titles in the online community.
Partnering the Planned and Major Gift Functions: Will This Marriage Work? (Cynthia Wilson Krause and Scott Lumpkin)
Integrating Planned & Major Gifts: Jazzy but Hard to Dance To? (T. Joseph McKay)
Start with Their Dreams: Let Major and Planned Giving Techniques Follow (Scott Janney)