Planned Giving Program Management in Public Gardens

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University of Delaware
All public gardens in the United States must secure operating revenue. Sources of revenue include government funding, corporate grants and private funding. Private funding includes in-kind donations, cash, and deferred giving (planned giving). The goal of this research was to examine how gardens manage planned giving programs and how they use planned gifts to their advantage before and after the gifts mature. To date, few other research studies have examined planned giving program management. The researcher mailed post card surveys to member organizations of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta to discover general trends in planned giving program management in public gardens. Telephone interviews with ten of the post card respondents provided more in-depth information and real world examples. The research showed that public gardens with a staff member working at least part-time, but not necessarily full-time, to recruit planned gifts were more likely to receive income from planned gifts than gardens without a staff member working at least part-time on recruiting planned gifts. In 2002, 56% of responding gardens receive income from planned gifts. The budget size of a garden influences planned giving program management activities. Gardens with large operating budgets have more active programs. Small gardens can successfully recruit planned gifts. Gardens are not using immature planned gifts to their advantage before the gifts mature.
Planned giving, Fundraising, Funding, Philanthropy, Financial management