Most of Planned Giving Is Just Plain Luck

Perhaps this is something you’ve heard from a co-worker, your boss or even your board. But could it be true?

With over 1.5 million nonprofits in the US, why is it that some nonprofits have more success than others when it comes to planned giving? Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not by chance.

Being in the right place at the right time just isn’t enough anymore. Those that are having more success are simply being smarter about how they market and position themselves.

So how do you better position your planned giving program with your donors? Here are three simple steps to improve your nonprofit’s planned giving marketing communications and get results.

Step One: Establish the Need

Most organizations adequately explain their mission and the important things they are accomplishing. Unfortunately, most forget establishing the need, the most critical step when communicating with donors or prospects.

With research showing that perspective donors intend to leave gifts to fewer organizations than in the past, your communication materials should lead with “Why should I give to you?” and “Why should I believe that your needs will continue far into the future?”

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Step Two: “How Can I Make an Impact?”

After establishing your organization’s need, are you showing your prospect base how your goals are achievable with their help?

Consider the average size of gift to your nonprofit; are you aware of how gifts of that size benefit your organization? Most importantly, are you consistently showing your donors how their dollars are being used? Go above and beyond straight copy when demonstrating impact. Add infographics or other creative elements to get impact messaging across. Boomer donors and younger are easier to reach using graphics.

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Step Three: “Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You”

You’ve established need and made it clear how a gift impacts your organization. Now close the loop by providing simple, easy-to-follow next steps on getting more information.

Whether using digital or direct mail to communicate, offer a variety of ways to learn more about making a planned gift that don’t require having to speak to a fundraiser. . . at least not right away.

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Over the next few of weeks we are going to address two more myths that we typically see in the planned giving space and how new research is debunking those myths! Any guesses on what next week’s myth will be? Let’s hear them.

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