Daring Strategy Pays Off for Actors’ Home — For Now
(Originally published on LinkedIn on April 5, 2023)
The Motion Picture and Television Fund has long operated the “Actors Home” and other facilities to provide residential and medical support to those who served the film industry. Notable past residents include a veritable “Who’s Who” of Hollywood royalty. A few examples include Larry Fine, Bud Abbott, and Hattie McDaniel.
Last year, reports surfaced that the Home was in financial trouble. Its fundraising efforts had produced a flood of bequest expectancies, but insufficient current revenue. $10 million was needed – quickly.
Facing possible insolvency, the Home’s short-term solution included an unorthodox strategy: seeking major gifts now from donors that had promised significant bequests later.
The bold move has apparently worked, though the Fund clearly has difficult times ahead. Given its iconic service to the industry for more than 100 years, we hope the Home survives and thrives.
GIFT PLANNING POINT: How do bequest donors view an emergency call for funds? Does an SOS send a signal that might cause supporters to defect altogether? These are tough questions. The Actors Home case serves as a warning to all charities to engage in serious long-range strategic planning.
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