Host Julia Patrick and guest expert Muhi Khwaja from Fundraising Academy, tackle nonprofit’s questions sent in this week.

The first question comes from San Francisco, asking how to account for requests for estate gift promises. Muhi explains that different organizations may handle this differently, and when he works at the Red Cross, they have a separate planned giving team that manages such requests.

Julia and Muhi chat about how to handle situations where a donor casually mentions leaving a gift in their will or trust. Muhi suggests having a conversation with the donor to clarify the nature of the gift and whether it’s part of a trust, which would likely involve the planned giving team.

Next, a question if it’s a good idea to have all members of the development team’s goals reported to the group. Muhi shares his experience at the Red Cross, where they track and share these numbers nationally and regionally. He emphasizes that sharing this information can promote collaboration and help team members understand each other’s challenges and successes.

The conversation shifts to the topic of board members and their roles. They discuss whether it’s important to have board members re-sign policies annually, especially when there have been no document changes. Muhi and Julia agree that it’s beneficial to reinforce these commitments yearly, even if the content remains the same.

Finally, the episode concludes with a unique question about whether an institution, such as a trust, can serve as a board member. Julia and Muhi find this to be an unusual concept and discuss the challenges and complexities of such an arrangement.