Standard C4 Explained

Definition: Planned Gift1
A planned gift is any major gift, made in lifetime or at death, as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning.

Why must organizations encourage donors to seek independent advice before conferring a Planned Gift or a gift that could significantly affect a donor’s financial position? Most fundraising professionals are not trained lawyers or financial experts. As such, though they might provide useful advice about the implications of a donation, it is good practice to refer clients to other professionals who are able to provide sound legal or financial council.2 Cultivating trusting relationships is an essential component of effective fundraising, and charities must ensure that they do not pressure potential donees who could be elderly or inherently trusting and thus vulnerable to manipulation.3 Organizations should respect a donor’s ability to make decisions regarding their estates while encouraging them to seek council from close family members and estate planning professionals.3


From "Accreditation Preparation Workbook Section C: Fundraising,"  Katharine Zywert, Social Prosperity Wood Buffalo at the University of Waterloo, 2013.

  1. “Standards Program Definitions,” Imagine Canada, May 2011.
  2. Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards,” Association of Fundraising Professionals, 2004.
  3. Creating a Planned Giving Program: A Legacy Building Plan for Small to Medium Community Based Organizations,” Niagara Community Foundation, 2006.


Standards Reference Guide



Share this resource