The value of slow money
Slow ketchup, better burger
Ministry leaders and marketers prefer success quickly as opposed to slowly.
Who could blame us?
But many good things in life are like the old Heinz slogan, “the slooooow ketchup.” Their thesis: You either take your time, or you settle for an inferior hamburger.
We see this conflict particularly in the area of estate planning, or “legacy income.”
- There’s a massive transfer of assets from every generation to the next.
- Today, over $39.4 trillion is sitting in retirement accounts alone (according to a recent report from ici.org).
- A Great Wealth Transfer is expected to take place over the next 25 years.
Ministries stand to generate a significant amount of revenue by motivating their donors to bequeath a portion of their estate to the ministry.
But many ministries never invest in the establishment of an estate planning effort.
Even when agencies like BBS & Associates have developed strategies for accessing legacy income cost-effectively and with little risk, some ministries drag their heels — preferring to focus all their energies on money now.
This is doubly tragic because we’ve found that many ministries can:
(a) recover their planned giving program investment within just 12 months AND
(b) generate immediate money for operations along the way — even while they’re building the organization’s endowment for the future.
Furthermore, many who do pursue estate planning devote most of their energies to finding that one mythical megadonor — the equivalent of winning the lottery — rather than committing themselves to the relative drudgery of inspiring many donors to get involved.
One estate planning specialist has talked about hunting elephants and hunting rabbits …
You can live just as long on rabbit meat as elephant meat — but rabbits are easier to catch.
“Don’t invest all your resources in hunting elephants when there are rabbits all around,” it’s been said.
“We’ve seen way too many ministries spend way too much time and money looking for The Big One — that one fantastic donor who can plop down a million bucks.
“Yes, the elephants are out there, but it’s far easier, and more efficient, to find the 10 loyal donors who can leave you the residual of their estate — often yielding more than $100,000 each.”
Here once more, as in so many facets of our walk with Christ, His principles of life — like sowing in one season to reap in the next — turn out to be the most profitable.
Our errant tendency is to look first for the profits.
Somehow, the scriptural principles of life — like gratitude and patience — often get missed along the way.