Nonprofits: Implementing a Planned Giving Program

Earlier this month, TS Community Foundation (now an affiliate of Pottawattamie County Community Foundation) hosted an event called Impacting Nonprofits: Investing for Progress in Treynor, Iowa at the Palace Event Center that was geared toward nonprofit employees in Southwest Iowa. Nearly 100 fundraising professionals gathered at the workshop to learn about sustainability strategies and how to implement a planned giving program at their nonprofit.

Event speakers included Pete Tulipana of Iowa West Foundation, Stacey Goodman of Omaha Community Foundation, Daniel Fischer of Kohorst and Fischer Law Firm, Judy Davis fundraising extraordinaire along with Mick Guttau, president of the TS Community Foundation and Marjorie Maas from SHARE Omaha.

TS Prosperity Group was pleased to sponsor this event to help local nonprofits thrive as our company supports nonprofits in a variety of ways including banking services - deposit accounts, loans, cash management, donation processing - tax services including payroll along with endowment fund management, retirement services and more. 

Here were some of our key takeaways from the event:

It all starts with a shared vision. A common struggle with nonprofits is that there are so many ways employees can spend their time. It’s imperative that the director and the board of directors are moving forward in the same direction, strategically implementing the plan. It’s important to keep revisiting your organization’s mission to make sure that it is still a fit. Then, make sure that everything you are doing actually fits within your mission.

Leadership is a fundamental distinctive that can make one nonprofit more successful than another. It’s key that the board is fully engaged.  Additionally, it’s the director’s responsibility to hold the board accountable in able for the director to do their job well. The audience learned about eight characteristics of strong leaders, including the ability to attract and energize people as well as a willingness to take risks.

Board management is a science and an art, with the art side focusing on building relationships. The number one reason that people give to a nonprofit is because of who is asking. The number two reason that people give to a nonprofit is because of the cause. It is all about the relationship when it comes to the board and to donors. You need to have the right content, a worthy case and an excellent ask. Be well-researched and know what you are asking for. If the ask is going to be a surprise to the donor, do more homework before you make the ask.  Be prepared to demonstrate how you’re going to make the change that you say you’re going to make through your organization. Donors want to have confidence in the leadership of the nonprofit, see that the board is actively involved, know that there is a strategic plan along with an annual audit. Donors also like to see if you’re able to bring other partners to the table.

Components for Success
You need to have a strong communication plan. Eliminate internal conflict and create an environment of continuous learning -be intentional and remember to have fun! If you don’t know the right people, don’t be scared to ask for an introduction. Before you go to make your case to donors, understand WHO they are, and then make your case. Build that relationship. Be a good steward of the resources you’ve been given.

Telling Your Story
Community members want to see that nonprofit organizations have a strong media presence and that they are out engaging in the community. Leaving a legacy gift is one way that people can make an impact in this world long after they are gone, so it’s important that they understand your mission and that your mission will live on for many years.   

We hope that our nonprofit guests had some good take-ways and left feeling inspired to start or improve their planned giving program. The majority of the event registration costs were pooled together and a total of $1,470 was donated to the Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fund at Pottawattamie County Community Foundation from the attendees.

We believe that nonprofit organizations align with our company’s mission and values, which is why we love to serve them as our clients! If you would like more information on similar upcoming events or if you are interested in products and services offered by TS Prosperity Group, please email for more information.


About TS Prosperity Group: TS Prosperity Group is a combination of fiduciary services and institutional investment management. The Trust Division - which includes fiduciary services - has been in place for 90 years. The institutional investment management team, developed internally over the last ten years, is now under TS Prosperity Group, headquartered in Council Bluffs, Iowa. TS Prosperity Group has $227 million assets under management and is earning national recognition in performance. Joshua M. Guttau is CEO. For more information visit

TS Prosperity Group is a division of TS Bank. Banking products and services provided by TS Bank, Member FDIC.

Investment products offered by TS Prosperity Group are: Not a Deposit, Not FDIC Insured, Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency, Not Guaranteed by the Bank, May Go Down in Value.

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