During economic downturns, funding from private companies, foundations, and government grants usually wane.  So what ideas from other organizations can we borrow that can help community development corporations sustain neighborhood revitalization initiatives and diversify their funding source?

Why do people include certain organizations in their wills and trusts?  One reason is at one point their lives were profoundly transformed by those organizations’ work.  They have an emotional connection with those organizations that have been a part of their lives.  They value what those organizations do.  They believe that even after they pass on, a part of them will continue to do good.  They believe that their heirs are well-off enough.  They might not have anyone else to pass their assets to.

Cancer foundations, faith based organizations, and university foundations have long marketed—and benefited from—planned giving.  Some organizations even have specialists to actively market the effort and guide the legal process.

In addition to increased funding, those organizations also benefited from having a more diversified funding source.  An over reliance on a few sources can mean that when the funders are not doing so well, the survivability of the recipients and their initiatives might be jeopardized.

As related to neighborhood revitalization, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is one such organization that capitalizes on those benefits. PHS helps improve the quality of life, creates a sense of community through horticulture, and uses innovative greening strategies to improve neglected urban properties.  To support those efforts in the future, PHS offers bequests, trusts, and life insurance policies as planned giving options.

All those reasons point to why CDCs should actively market planned giving as part of their long-term funding strategies.


The PHS planned giving webpage is at http://www.pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org/supportphs/planned.html.