Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy estimates as much as $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfer will take place by 2052.

Not all of those assets will transfer from family member to family member.  Much of it could end up going to the government, and some will be directed to nonprofit organizations.

Why am I starting a post about monthly giving by talking about intergenerational wealth transfer?

Here’s why…

There are two key indicators of a person’s likelihood to make a planned gift to your organization (or any nonprofit).  They are are a) frequency of giving, and b) age.

And here’s how those key indicators factor into a monthly giving program…

A monthly giving program is valuable on its own merits.  It creates a steady stream of predictable monthly income for your organization.  You can reduce the frequency (and expense) of soliciting (sort of) monthly donors because they’ve already made a commitment to you.

Think about it this way.  If you have 400 donors who each give an average of 8 gifts per year at $25, that’s $80,000 in annual revenue to you.  That same group making a monthly commitment (assuming the gift amount remains consistent) will deliver $120,000 instead.  That’s a 50% increase in income from this loyal donor group!

But ultimately, the value of a monthly giving program is so much more than just the ongoing monthly revenue.  The fact that they are loyal, frequent givers to your organization gives you a highly pre-qualified planned gift prospect pool to cultivate.  These people love your cause so much that they’ve incorporated your needs into their monthly expenses.  That says a lot.  This loyalty is a significant factor in their potential for planned giving down the road.

Many organizations have launched or modified their monthly giving programs to only accept monthly gifts via credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT).  This makes a lot of sense in the short term.  It reduces staff time for gift processing and costs associated with processing checks.

But (and it’s a big one)…

In my book, a monthly donor who gives by check is the highest form of a pre-qualified planned giving lead.  We know that donors who prefer to give by check skew older.  And the fact that they are giving monthly lets us know they’re loyal.  These two items, when taken together, should put check writing monthly donors at the top of your planned gift prospecting list.

If you don’t have a monthly giving program, think about starting one.  The benefits to your organization, both today and down the road, are significant.  If you have a monthly giving program but don’t allow people to give by check, consider revisiting that decision.  It might just be your first million dollar idea of the year!