Organizations with a strong endowment fund generally have a story about how they got there. It's a story of two parties.


    The Surprise Party

    Some organizations have had the wonderful – and slightly discombobulating – experience of receiving an incredibly generous gift entirely out of the blue. While these gifts are always welcome, many times the staff and board were caught off-guard and didn’t have a concrete plan for what to do with the gift. Even worse, nothing has been done since to grow that gift by enhancing it with other new gifts to the endowment.

    In other words, the organization is waiting for someone else to throw them another surprise party.


    The Celebration

    Other organizations have been very deliberate about building their endowment fund. They have cultivated relationships over time as part of an endowment-building program. They celebrate regularly through legacy society events and special recognition. Their experience is one of continual gratitude and sharing, not surprises.

    In other words, they’re hosting their own parties, not waiting for someone else to throw them one!


    What kind of party do you want? 


    Starting is easier than you think.

    The good news is that advanced strategies are not required to conduct a successful endowment development program. Rather, successful endowment development is directly related to faithfully and consistently implementing simple endowment development program strategies.

    The biggest challenges to a successful program are making the decision to get a program started and making the commitment to conduct the program year after year after year.

    Implementing the basics turns out to be an advanced strategy!

    Endowment development programs are perhaps the best source of additional contributed income available to nonprofits, one that allows their best supporters to make estate-planning decisions that are in the donor’s interests and benefits the organization as well.


    The best time to start was 20 years ago. The second best time to start? Today.

    Today is a great time to get started. Contact a long-time friend of your organization and invite them to sit down over a cup of coffee. Your agenda is simply to hear their story and share your vision. Commit to having these wonderful conversations regularly, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing your own successful endowment program!

    Ready to go further? Contact us to learn more about DBD's Planned Giving By Design Program. Choose the Accelerator to get started or the Legacy Builder to expand your current endowment program.


    Have you had a surprise party or celebration party at your organization?  We’d love to hear more in the comments below.


    Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash


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