Bookmark and Share
Home » Guides » Planned Giving

Planned Giving

Planned giving programs play an important role in charitable fundraising.


Planned giving is charitable giving that is deferred to sometime in the future (often at death) and is formally integrated into a person’s overall financial and estate planning. Planned giving methods range from straightforward bequests to more complex mechanisms such as charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts, and pooled income funds; many offer tax or other financial benefits to donors, and are therefore appealing to people who plan to make large gifts.

This guide provides links to resources to help nonprofits understand planned giving and operate successful planned giving programs. See the Planned Giving library topic at for these and other resources.

Understand Planned Giving

“Planned Gifts: The Introductory Guide”

“What Is Planned Giving?”

“10 Things You Might Not Know About Planned Giving”

“Planned Giving 101: The Legacy a Donor Leaves Behind”

“Four Common Planned Giving Myths Busted”

Planned giving fact sheet

Donation by Will: Options and Issues Regarding Gifts of Cash, Land, and Other Property

Operating a Planned Giving Program

“How a Nonprofit Can Start and Market a Planned Giving Program”

“You Can’t Take it with You: Big Gifts for the Future”

“How to Launch Planned Giving at Your Nonprofit”

“10 Steps to Developing a Planned Giving Program”

“Checklist for Planned Giving: What Tools Do You Really Need?”

Establishing a Planned Giving Program

"Three Basic Steps, and Three Enhancements, for Your Planned Giving Program"

Identifying and Cultivating Donors

“The Best Ways to Identify a Planned Giving Prospect for Your Nonprofit”

“The Keys to Identifying a Planned Giving Prospect”

“Identifying Planned Giving Donor Prospects”

How to Talk with Donors About Planned Gifts

“How to Talk to Donors About Planned Giving (and Win Them Over!)”

Examples of Land Trust Planned Giving Programs

Many land trusts have planned giving programs. See the websites of the organizations listed below to get a sense of how different organizations structure and market their planned giving programs. 

Deschutes Land Trust

Estes Valley Land Trust

French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust

Minnesota Land Trust

Natural Lands

North Branch Land Trust

Sonoma Land Trust

The Trust for Public Land

Your rating

Download as

See more...

Featured Library Items

Guide explains the components of a successful planned-giving program at a nonprofit organization.
Guide to starting a planned giving program at your nonprofit and cultivating planned giving donors.
This document is one of a series of fact sheets and reference materials produced by the Land Trust Alliance. Please contact us for additional information or to order materials.
Planned giving programs play an important role in charitable fundraising. (Print version of guide)


Nate Lotze compiled this guide.

The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association produced this guide with support from the William Penn Foundation, the Colcom Foundation, and the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.


Nothing contained in this document is intended to be relied upon as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. The material presented is generally provided in the context of Pennsylvania law and, depending on the subject, may have more or less applicability elsewhere. There is no guarantee that it is up to date or error free.