Top Tips for Building a Robust Planned Giving Portfolio in the Arts

Arts audiences are a planning their estates, build your legacy with charitable planned gifts. Artsmarketing's legacy builder campaign is a path to building your planned giving pipeline our telemarketing and telefunding services can help you get there. Image of theatre audience applauding. 

Building a Planned Giving Portfolio  is Easier Than You Think with Legacy Builder™ 

What is Legacy Builder™? 

Legacy Builder™ is a proactive personal invitation campaign to help participating organizations identify donors that can ensure long term stability through planned gifts.


Image: Why should arts organizations focus on planned giving? Because we're in the golden age of philanthropy. Image includes a quote from Pal G Schervis and John J. Havens article Millionaires and the Millennium: "Americans will transfer at least $41 trillion between 1198-2052, according to a study by the Social Welfare Research Institute at Boston College.  At $6 trillion of that funding will be bequests to charity, according to Paul Schervis and Jon Havens, who wrote that "a golden age of philanthropy is dawning."

Why Focus on Planned Giving? 

The first question we need to answer is Why Focus on Planned Giving? 
We are in the golden age of philanthropy and Americans will transfer at least 41 trillion dollars between 1998 & 2052, and at least $6 trillion of that funding will be bequests to charity. Baby Boomers and their parents hold approximately 90% of the wealth in North America

At age 50 people begin to evaluate their estates. There are a of couple triggers that happen at this age leading to estate planning and changes in the estate

  • Kids graduate college
  • The birth of grand children 
  • Retirement

Image: Why Should Your Organization focus on building your Planned Giving Portfolio? Your database is filled with folks ages 50-80 and people ages 50-80 are planning their estates right now. 

Why Should Your Organization Focus on Building Your Planned Giving Portfolio? 


  • The majority of arts and cultural audiences are made up of people ages 50-80
  • The majority of arts and cultural donors are ages 50-80
  • The majority of the database of donors, subscribers, single ticket buyers, members and volunteers are filled with people who are planning their estates right now. 

Why now? Research shows that as soon as a donor agrees to a planned gift in their will, their current annual giving actually increases. Image includes a chart showing giving before and after a charitable beneficiary to estate planning that covers 8 years prior to the planned gift and showing increase up to 8 years after the planned gift has been made. 

Why Now?

Why is it important for Arts and Cultural organizations to increase their planned giving pipelines NOW?

Research shows that as soon as a donor agrees to a planned gift in their will, their current annual giving actually goes up by as much as 42%– that impacts your bottom line NOW giving your organization more access to unrestricted revenue.  

Now that we have your attention, let’s explore WHO to target.

Image: Who should you target in your planned giving strategy? Major donors, board members, and long term annual fund donors. Our expertise is in helping you target long term current and lapsed subscribers, members, volunteers and single ticket buyers. 

Who Should You Target?:

Extensive research has shown that planned giving is about lifestyles and loyalty, not wealth and everyone in your database has the potential to make a planned gift to charity. Planned gifts are not only made by millionaires. 

The truth: everyone in your database has the potential to be a planned giver, especially those 50-80. This means you have more control over the process than you think. 

We know, Arts and Cultural organizations are already talking to their major donors, board members and long-term annual fund donors about a planned gift. 

Your database is a gold mine of people ages 50-80, who are planning their estates today. They are long term subscribers both current and lapsed, long-term single ticket buyers, members and volunteers, the challenge is to find the human resources to connect with them all.

Image: How are you going to reach your base? Artsmarketing Services Legacy Builder Campaigns deploy junior planned giving officers with persuasive conversations measuring key performance indicators. Empirical learning helps us target and segment the audience. AMS uses a multi-touch point program that includes direct mail and telephone follow-up. AMS then classifies the prospect and prioritizes opportunities and stewardship. Artsmarketing provides data enhancement and donor feedback to upload to your customer relationship management system. This provides Artsmarketing's clients with continuous learning and outcomes that shape future development. 

How Are You Going to Reach All These People?

By developing a proactive Strategy to ASK for Planned Gifts.

This is where AMS can help, by leveraging a direct mail and a phone campaign, AMS will generate viable leads and build a qualified planned giving pipeline for your team.

By sifting and mining your database:

  • AMS identifies those who are willing or considering a planned gift
  • AMS identifies the time frame they are considering 
  • AMS identifies the amount of the gift they are planning

All of this can be gathered with a successful direct mail and phone strategy provided by Artsmarketing’s Legacy Builder™ Campaign

Image: Legacy Builder Results. Artsmarketing Services has conducted over 65 Legacy Builder Campaigns. AMS has identified over 25,000 bequest interests estimated at $750 million. 

Legacy Builder™ Results

AMS has been conducting direct-response Planned Giving projects since 1995.  Our expertise comes from over 65 programs which have resulted in more than 25,000 Bequest Confirmations conservatively estimated at more than $750 million.

Our Legacy Builder™ Campaigns are turn-key projects with accurately predicted outcomes and results. The proactive Legacy Builder™ Campaign system will unveil the full strength of your Organization’s planned gift potential.

After a Legacy Builder™ Campaign you will know:

  • Who has already included your Organization in their will;
  • Who has an intention to do so and when; and,
  • Who will consider making a planned gift to your Organization in the future.

Our sophisticated reporting system enables you to know what to expect in the future and to assign individualized or customized stewardship programs for different prospect categories.

Image: Ask yourself, what difference would it make to the future of your arts organization if 15-30% of your patrons made a planned gift? 

Ask Yourself ...

What difference would it make to the future of your organization if 15-30% of your patrons made a planned gift? And then contact us to learn more about a how Legacy Builder™ Campaign will work for your organization.