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FAQ: Planned Giving Terminology

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How does one differentiate between the terms 'planned giving,' 'deferred giving' and 'major giving'?

These terms refer to the thinking processes a donor goes through when deciding how to make a significant gift. Each term is defined below.

Planned giving: Gift planning. A systematic effort to identify and cultivate a person, for the purpose of generating a major gift, that is structured and that integrates sound personal, financial, and estate-planning concepts with the prospect's plans for lifetime or testamentary giving. A planned gift has tax implications and is often transmitted through a legal instrument, such as a will or trust.

Deferred giving: The process or act of arranging a deferred gift. A deferred gift is a gift that is committed to a charitable organization but is not available for use until some future time, usually the death of the donor.

Major giving: A significant donation to a nonprofit organization. The amount required to qualify as a major gift is determined by the organization.

Source: NSFRE Fund-Raising Dictionary. AFP/Wiley Fund Development Series. John Wiley and Sons: New York, 1996.

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