Behind every planned gift there’s a story worth telling.

I was reminded of this recently when I came across three articles that highlighted planned gifts by alumni to the colleges that had shaped their lives and careers.

One featured a retired investment portfolio manager who attended night classes at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas while serving in the military. He recently made a planned gift commitment to UNLV, in gratitude for the graduate degree he earned there.

Another gift came from a medical librarian who committed a bequest to Binghamton University because he always valued the diversity he experienced coming from a rural town in upstate New York.

The third came from an alumnus of the University of Southern Mississippi. For decades, the donor was inspired by a legendary gift to the university from Oseola McCarty. McCarty was a washerwoman who scrimped and saved more than $280,000 over the course of her life, most of which she donated to the university to fund scholarships for needy students.

Stories like these matter.

Not only do they provide the donors with much-deserved recognition, they also inspire others to consider similar commitments.

A heartfelt story at your nonprofit demonstrates, in clear terms, that you are relevant and meaningful to those touched by your work.

Your organization may well have supporters who are ready to make a planned gift – if only they knew the potential.

You may have similar stories just waiting to be told.

They won’t write themselves.

Over time, through consistently connecting with potential donors, your message will resonate. Your supporters will keep you top of mind as they update their wills or begin estate planning.

In turn, you’ll end up with some poignant stories to tell – and a more secure financial future for your important work.