PLANNED GIVING AND TESSITURA
GETTING STARTED AND MAKING IT WORK
Tessitura can be used to develop and track an organization’s Planned Giving program and
efforts. The primary tool for tracking such efforts is the History tab/Planned Gifts radio button.
Additionally, other areas of a constituent record (such as Activities, Attributes, and Research)
can be used to supplement information recorded in the Planned Gifts radio button.
This document is intended to provide a guide for organizations that are in the early phases of
evaluating how to use Tessitura to track their Planned Giving efforts. As such, the document
not only raises points to consider during the evaluation process, but also offers suggestions
related to implementing Tessitura to track four major aspects of a Planned Giving program—
identifying prospects, managing prospects, managing relationships with planned giving donors,
and tracking estates and bequest disbursements. Included throughout the document are
sample values for the fields used in the History tab/Planned Gifts radio button.
I. USING TESSITURA TO PROFILE CURRENT PLANNED GIVING DONORS AND TO IDENTIFY PLANNED
Rather than using Extractions only to pull constituent records for an appeal, Extractions can
also be used for data mining and analysis of an organization’s constituents. When using
Extractions for this purpose, set up extraction criteria, generate counts, and use the Count
Report and Suppression Report.
Following are descriptions of example Extraction criteria that can be used to analyze current
Planned Giving donors and identify potential Planned Giving prospects.
A. Current Planned Giving Donors – If an organization already has a significant number
of Planned Giving donors, an Extraction can be designed to determine an overall profile
of this group of constituents:
In one Extraction, a user can derive the number of Planned Giving donors who are
also, for example: Annual Fund donors, subscribers, and/or single ticket buyers. A
user can also create a more refined Extraction to find the number of Planned Giving
donors who are subscribers to particular series or who donate to particular
Note: Depending upon how an organization tracks its Planned Giving donors, the
criteria “Planned Giving donors” can be defined by either a constituency, fields in the
Planned Gifts radio button, or a user-defined list.
The strategy and sample values included in this document are based largely on the Planned Giving
program at the San Francisco Symphony.
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After generating counts for this Extraction, the user can review the Suppression
Report and analyze the ticket buying and donor habits of its Planned Giving donors.
Please refer to Appendix A – Suppression Report Example.
Based on that analysis, the user can use Extractions to identify potential prospects
with characteristics similar to Planned Giving donors.
B. Planned Giving Prospects – Extractions can be used to identify prospects for various
fundraising appeals, including Planned Giving appeals. In addition to identifying
prospects based on ticket buying or donation trends exhibited by current Planned Giving
donors, the user might consider prospecting based on criteria such as the following:
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Attributes Birthdate_1 or Birthdate_2 greater than or equal to a certain date.
Some organizations have developed custom stored procedures that update
Attributes which reflect the first year, most recent year, and total years as a
Donor, Subscriber, and Single Ticket Buyer. Organizations with these Attributes
can easily select long-term donors and ticket buyers (for example, Total Years
Donated >= 10, Total Years Subscribed >= 10) as prospects.
Ticket History with the following types of subscriptions or single tickets:
o Weekday matinee series.
o Senior discounts.
II. PLANNED GIVING PROSPECT MANAGEMENT
After a user identifies a group of constituents as Planned Giving prospects, prospect information
can be tracked for each constituent not only in the Planned Gifts radio button, but also in other
areas of Tessitura.
Note: Organizations that take a direct marketing approach to Planned Giving should define
business practices regarding when to treat a constituent as a prospect and when to maintain
information in the Planned Gifts radio button and/or other areas in which users record Planned
Giving information. For example, if the organization sends a Planned Giving direct mail appeal
to 10,000 constituents, should users track all 10,000 constituents as prospects? Or should
users only mark constituents as prospects after they have responded to a Planned Giving
A. Prospect Management in the Planned Gifts Radio Button – Following are
descriptions of how fields in the Planned Gifts radio button found on the Constituent’s
History can be used to track Planned Giving prospects.
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o A Code of ―Prospect‖ can be set-up to mark the constituent as a Planned Giving
Set-up Note: To add or edit Activity Code values, use the reference table
Examples of Activity Code values include:
1. PG Society Member
2. PG Society Member – Anonymous
3. PG Society Member – Deceased
4. Planned Gift Only
6. Special Case
o Select the Officer responsible for managing the prospect.
Set-up Note: Users defined as either ―Solicitor‖ or ―Both‖ (Users and
Solicitors) in Security will appear in the Officer drop-down.
o In the Last Date field, the Officer can record the most recent date he/she has
had contact with the constituent regarding making a planned gift.
o The Status field can be used to categorize constituents into different prospect
types such as ―Warm Prospect‖ or ―Hot Prospect.‖ If a constituent had been a
prospect earlier, but is no longer considered a lead, the type can be changed to
Set-up Note: To add or edit Status values, use the reference table
o In the First Date field, the Officer can record either the date the date the
constituent first contacted the organization regarding Planned Giving or the date
the organization first considered the constituent to be a Planned Giving prospect.
o The Source field can be used to indicate how a constituent came to be
considered a Planned Giving prospect. The source can indicate what type of
appeal a constituent responded (―Program Book Ad‖ or ―Newsletter Reply
Device‖) or who referred the Officer to the constituent (―Staff Referral‖ or
Set-up Note: To add or edit Source values, use the reference table
B. Prospect Management in Other Areas of Tessitura – Additional information related to
a constituent’s status as a Planned Giving prospect can be recorded in areas of Tessitura
outside of the Planned Gifts radio button. For example:
History/Activities – In the History tab/Activities radio button, invitations and
attendance to Planned Giving cultivation events (―PG - Cultivation Event‖) or
individual meetings (―PG – Individual Meeting‖) can be recorded.
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Note: The Planned Giving Bio, a standard report, includes in its output all fields from the
Planned Gifts radio button. If an organization records information related to Planned
Giving efforts outside of the Planned Gifts radio button, this supplementary information
will not appear on the standard Planned Giving Bio.
III. PLANNED GIVING DONORS
This section describes how the Planned Gifts radio button can be used to manage information
related to confirmed planned gifts. For organizations with Planned Giving societies or
considering implementing such societies, this section also offers suggestions regarding using
other areas of Tessitura to record Planned Giving society member preferences.
A. Planned Gifts Radio Button – When a prospect becomes a Planned Giving donor, the
Planned Gifts radio button should be updated to reflect this change. If a Planned Giving
donor had not been a prospect, the Planned Gifts radio button fields should be filled in.
o The Code can be updated (from ―Prospect‖) or added to indicate what type of
Planned Giving donor the constituent is. Examples include:
PG Society Member
PG Society Member – Anonymous
PG Society Member – Deceased
PG Society Member – Anon. Deceased
Planned Gift Only (Used for Planned Giving donors who do not wish to be
members of an organization’s Planned Giving society).
o Officer – See definition in Section II A.
o The Last Date can be updated to indicate the most recent date of contact with
the constituent regarding his/her planned gift.
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o The Status can be updated or added to indicate that Planned Giving record is
now for a ―Confirmed Gift.‖ The Status might later be updated to ―Open Estate‖
or ―Closed Estate.‖
History – If the Planned Gifts radio button does not indicate that a constituent had
been a Planned Giving prospect, the First Date field can be filled in to reflect the
date on which the constituent first contacted the organization regarding their planned
gift. The Source field can be used as described above in Section II A.
When a constituent becomes a confirmed Planned Giving donor, the Officer should also
record the details of the planned gift in the following areas in the Planned Gifts radio
button: Planned Gifts Details, Completed Gift Values, Uncertain Values, Dates,
Planned Gift Details – These fields can be used to record the overall characteristics
of a planned gift:
1. Type –can be used to indicate the category of planned gift that has been made.
Sample values include: Bequest, Charitable Lead Trust, and Charitable
2. Instrument Date – indicates the date of the legal instrument for the planned gift.
3. Purpose – reflects any restrictions the constituent has made regarding the use of
the planned gift. Sample values include: New Productions, Archives, and
4. File – indicates what documentation for the planned gift the organization has on
file. Sample values include: Full Documentation, Excerpt, Letter (Atty), Letter
5. Funding Asset – denotes what type of asset to be used for the planned gift.
Sample values include: Cash, Stock, Real Estate, Tangible Property, Bonds,
Completed Gift Values – used to record date and amount details for completed
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Uncertain Values – reflects low and high estimated values for planned gifts for
which the actual value is not yet known.
Dates – used to record various dates related to the constituent’s planned gift:
1. Notification Date – The date on which the organization learned that it has been
included in a constituent’s estate plans.
2. Confirmation Date – The date on which the organization received confirmation
that it has been included in a constituent’s estate plans. (Can be the same date
as the Notification Date and as the Planned Gift Details/Instrument Date).
3. Disclosure Date – Can be used to record the date on which the planned giving
officer sent the constitution legal disclosure information—the ―fine print.‖
4. Encore Date – The date on which the constituent became a member of the
organization’s planned giving society. (Encore is the name of the Metropolitan
Opera’s planned giving society).
Bequest – used to record the expected amount and date for planned gifts that are
B. Other Areas of Tessitura – Additional information related to a constituent’s status as a
Planned Giving donor can be recorded in areas of Tessitura outside of the Planned Gifts
radio button. For example:
History/Activities - In the History tab/Activities radio button, invitations and
attendance to Planned Giving donor or society events (―PG – Annual Event‖) can be
o Attributes can be added to indicate Planned Giving society member preferences
regarding Planned Giving mailings.
o If an organization distinguishes between charter members and regular members
of the Planned Giving society, an Attribute (Attribute ―PG Charter Member,‖
Attribute Value ―Charter Member‖) can be created to flag the charter members.
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o If an organization lists Planned Giving society members in a program book or
newsletter, a program type (―Planned Giving Society‖) can be used to record
constituents’ listing preferences for the Planned Giving society listing.
o For organizations with Planned Giving charter members, a program book
donation level can be set up to group the charter members for listings.
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APPENDIX A – Suppression Report Example
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