NCPP 2017: Top 3 Things You Need to Know

Another NCPP has came and went; and it did not disappoint. As always, it was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues from around the country and to recharge the ‘planned giving’ batteries before the year-end madness begins.

Some of my personal highlights included, but were not limited to, the terrific conversations I had with so many planned giving professionals, our annual client appreciation party, and sharing The Stelter Company’s most recent research with my peers at the conference.

Our annual client appreciation party—of course—was a night to remember. This year we collaborated with Jai Chanda and his group at State Street Global Advisors to host over 200 fundraisers for the best party of NCPP 2017.

Rolling out our latest research in our new talk “Matures to Boomers: What Planned Giving Professionals Need to Know” was a tremendous pleasure. If you missed it—don’t fret. Cheryl and I are doing an encore presentation on November 8. Sign up for our (FREE) webinar here.

This year’s conference had so much to offer, from interactions in the exhibit hall to exceptional speakers and sessions. Here are some of my favorite takeaways from this year.

Top 3 Takeaways from NCPP 2017

1. Think like a For-Profit

Watch and learn. Take note of great successes in for-profit marketing and utilize those same tactics—when applicable—in your nonprofit’s planned giving marketing strategy.

NCPP 2017 presentation “Grandparents are on Facebook: Social Media’s Impact on Planned Giving” did a phenomenal job of highlighting how The Humane Society of the United States has done just that. Stelter’s Director of Business Development Michael Hutney and our friends from The Humane Society of the United States, Steve Maughan and Cara Holland, gave this motivating presentation about HSUS’s triumphs in digital marketing.

HSUS has become masterful in the art of applying for-profit best practices to their nonprofit marketing communications, resulting in maximized donor engagement via social and digital channels. The Stelter Company is proud to have been part of this process by providing a digital marketing platform that was flexible enough to accommodate their fluid requirements.

Harnessing the power of social engagement for planned giving purposes is an inexpensive and effective way to expand your planned giving audience and further their interest.

2. Analytics and Knowing How to Use Them

University of Virginia’s Jason Chestnutt and Christ Hubert discussed “Strategic Partnerships with Prospect Research”, giving insights about using statistics to uncover strong planned giving prospects.

For UVA, the magic number is 15. That is, an annual donor who has given for 15 years is a promising planned giving prospect for them.

What is the magic number for your organization? Having the data is half the battle; knowing how to use it is how you win the fight. Being able to connect the analytical dots makes all the difference.

3. Update Your Planned Giving Parlance

Ron Schiller’s presentation answered the question “What are Donors Telling Us?” and got us thinking: What are we telling them?

When communicating with donors, it’s time to talk less about “me”—rather your organization’s needs— and more about them. What are your donors’ philanthropic goals? How can your organization help to make them happen?

Then, take it one step further. Ask the question: “What about us?” What can your donor and your organization accomplish together? Asking these intimate questions will tie your donors’ goals to your organization’s mission.

Bonus Tip: Survey—The Nonprofit Marketing Tool of 2018

It was easy to see that survey was on everyone’s mind. It is a must-have for your 2018 planned giving marketing strategy.

Read about Stelter’s survey and how it worked for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.


Undoubtedly, it was another successful NCPP! If you joined us in Baltimore, please share your favorite moments from the conference. We’d love to hear them.

I look forward to seeing everyone next year in Las Vegas at NCPP 2018! 

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