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The Future Looks Like Pomona College

Even if you’re not in the higher ed sector, take a look at what this California college is doing. Its bold, outside-the-box approach to planned giving is attracting attention – and endowment funds.

You may remember when Pomona College broke with tradition to advertise its giving vehicles directly to the investing community at large in the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

Promoting planned giving to a group outside its traditional constituency (alumni) was a pretty bold move. Pomona was promising great ROI, so suddenly everyone who wanted to grow their money was beating a path to their door.

And at the end of the day it’s not that crucial whether that million dollars comes from an devoted alumnus or a smart investor (or both).

If you visit Forbes.Com you’ll discover that Pomona is still pushing the envelope. An article by William Baldwin (“Does a Charitable Gift Annuity Make Tax Sense for You?”) describes how the College is again attracting attention – and dollars – with the great rates of return it’s offering on its CGAs.

Bear in mind that Pomona is accomplishing all this in a challenging economy. The College’s ability to turn market circumstances to its own advantage through proactive initiative should be an inspiration – and a challenge – to all fundraisers.

Here’s the bottom line: Even if same-old-same-old fundraising used to cut it for nonprofits, it doesn’t do it anymore. Want some clues about what moves will guarantee you’ll be closing big planned gifts 5, 10 or 20 years from now?

Just take a look at Pomona College.

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