We Don’t Like this Notice
All of our materials are copyrighted. Licensing is issued for use by a single organization (unless stipulated otherwise). In addition, each product has its own licensing period.
Unfortunately, some people abuse our trust, making this page — and this list of rules — necessary.
- You may not copy our online materials without obtaining a license from PlannedGiving.Com.
- You may not use our materials beyond your licensing period.
- You may not give our materials to anyone else — they are for use only by the nonprofit to which they’re licensed.
- You may not bring our materials with you if you change jobs. Their use does not carry over.
- You may not give your login information to anyone else.
We Make a Living on Our Content
Copy, graphics, interactive tools, tax information — all of our materials have been painstakingly produced, and are made available to clients who pay royalties. Royalty rights are considered to be assets (a form of a planned gift, in fact). Therefore, in addition to violating copyright laws, copying our materials is also considered theft.
Whether you are a nonprofit or another vendor, know that we’ve started taking extreme measures to prevent this from happening. Please do not copy our content — you don’t want the legal hassle, and neither do we. The savings you realize by stealing will be more than negated by the fines and legal fees you incur.
This notice applies to other vendors as well as nonprofits.
A Recent Letter to a Nonprofit
Dear “Mr. Fundraiser,”
How would you feel if someone stole your wages you use to feed your family? What if someone “borrowed” your organization’s hard-earned funding without permission and used it for their own purpose?
It’s unethical, it’s called embezzlement, and you’d be upset.
That’s exactly how we feel now.
We have been notified by our Internet monitoring service that your “new” planned giving website incorporates much of our original content and gift diagrams. Our materials are royalty-earning assets made available to clients who pay for their use. Being in the planned giving business yourself, you know that such assets are often donated as part of an estate. This means they have value.
We have spent a lot of time, money and resources to develop materials of value — it’s how we make a living. When an organization like yours hosts our work online without permission, that gives the impression that our valuable materials are in the public domain (this is critical to understand), which leads other organizations to think they can “borrow” them as well — including other vendors (and they always try). And that’s how our content loses value.
It’s not good for business. It’s bad for our livelihood. It’s against the law. And it’s something we take seriously. Simply put, this is our bread and butter — and when you “borrow” (steal) our content, you steal from our hard-working employees and their families. We cannot tolerate that.
We normally hand these matters over to our legal department, but we wanted to send you this courtesy notice first. Besides, you do not want to hear from Gary Auerbach, Esq.
We understand that mistakes happen, and that this was likely an oversight. We see it often: Many nonprofits feel such materials should be free, but they don’t realize — or take into consideration — the amount of work and expense that we’ve put into creating them.
Please have this issue corrected by 4 PM EST tomorrow, either by taking your pages down or by replacing our content with something that you have the rights to use. There’s a third option, too: Become one of our many satisfied clients.
We certainly hope that you will use our services — legally — in the future. We are great at what we do — just like you are great at raising money. In fact, that’s why you should not be involved with the minutia and busywork of putting together planned giving websites. Focus on your job and let us focus on your marketing, content, and behind-the-scenes work.
It’s the kind of stuff we do every day — make that every hour.
Viken Mikaelian, CEO
Examples of Assets
If you created one from scratch:
Taking your hours into account, an average planned giving website will cost you around $120,000. Here are complete details. In summary:
- You’ll need a professional graphic designer/illustrator for all gift diagrams
- Writing, editing, reviewing pages and pages of content. Then having staff members do it. This includes:
- Gift descriptions (about 15)
- Benefits charts
- Donor profiles for each gift
- Countless of hours of IT work developing interactive tools
- Logistics, SEO and more
If you created one from scratch:
Brian Sagrestano, Esq., Viken Mikaelian, Jim Pierson and various support staff have spent over 1450 hours on this resourceful product.
At $175 per hour (average consulting fee), the creation value from scratch comes to about $254,000.
Here’s an informative article if you plan to develop these tools in-house.