Beginning in version 7.7, you can create gift records for your organization's planned giving, including information specific to numerous types of planned gift vehicles, with the optional module PlannedGiftTracker. If you have this optional module, refer to How to track (add and realize) planned gifts (BB153368) and the Planned Gift Tracking Guide (PDF) for more information.

A planned gift can be viewed as a legally expressed gift to an organization during the donor's lifetime, but whose principal benefits are temporarily deferred until a future time (usually when the donor or beneficiary passes away). Planned gifts can take on many forms, including annuities, trusts, and estates, and can provide income tax benefits for the donors. You must track these gifts so you do not include them in fiscal year reporting of income, but so you can find them in the system. The Raiser's Edge cannot calculate deferred gifts.


What Gift Type?


There are six gift types in The Raiser's Edge: Cash, Pledge, Stock/Property, Gift-in-Kind, Other and Recurring Gift. Planned gifts may be tracked as any of these types, but we recommend you track them as Other gifts because the benefits are not reaped until a future date. There are benefits to tracking planned gifts this way:

  • Tracking all planned gifts as the same gift type, Other, makes them easier to find. If you enter some as cash and some as pledges, it will be difficult to create a query of them.
  • Reporting on Other gifts is straightforward. You can use the Other Gifts Report, one of the Financial Reports. Although most reports do not include Other gifts by default to reduce the risk of inaccurate totals, you can include Other gifts if appropriate.

Further Defining the Other Planned Gift


The Gift Subtype field can be used to further define Other gifts. For example, you can indicate if the gift is an annuity, will, or trust. If you post to General Ledger, you can set up separate debit and credit account numbers for each gift subtype on the GL Distributions tab of the fund record. Also, you can filter on the Gift Subtype field in Query. The Gift Code field on a gift's Miscellaneous tab is another alternative location to store further information about Other gifts.


Revocable vs. Irrevocable


It may be important for you to track whether gifts are revocable or irrevocable. Some planned gifts, such as wills, may not be legally binding because they can be changed at any time. An insurance policy, which the donor maintains the ownership of, is also a revocable gift. You may need to track revocable gifts in a way to exclude them from reporting. You may also want to pay closer attention to the revocable gifts so you can make sure nothing has changed.

You can label gifts as revocable or irrevocable in one of two ways. One way is to use the Reference field on the Gifts tab. Another way is to create a gift attribute (e.g. an attribute of Revocable with a data type of Yes/No).


When the planned gift is received


Once you receive the planned gift:

  1. Adjust the 'Other' gift to $0 and add a note to explain why.
  2. Add a gift for the amount donated. Enter a gift subtype, attribute, or note on the gift indicating it was a planned gift.