The past two years have encouraged a lot of people to create a will or estate plan. The world’s focus on health, family and charity are all linked to what we, as planned giving fundraisers, try to do every day.
Despite this uptick, just 33% of American adults have a will.
Most people still haven’t gotten around to it or just feel that they don’t possess significant assets and, therefore, a will or estate plan isn’t necessary.
So, as we approach Estate Planning Awareness Week for 2022, we still have a good deal of education and encouragement to provide. Many of our prospects just need a little nudge.
Here are a few tips to make the most of your donor outreach.
1. Start Early
Get out ahead of the week itself. Announce Estate Planning and Awareness Week early with your email and social media content. Prime your audience. Let them know everything you have planned, whether that be educational content, events and webinars or personal outreach.
You also don’t have to wait. Yes, it’s a week on paper, but estate planning is an evergreen topic. If you want to keep the theme, use messaging like “Estate Planning Awareness Week begins in 10 days—this guide to troublesome paperwork can help!”.
2. Let Donors Talk for You
If you have video testimonials or written statements from donors about the ease and flexibility of the process, put them front and center. Social proof can inspire others to feel that they can do it, too.
Even if you don’t have first-hand accounts, these stories can be powerful. For example: “By adding just one sentence in their will, Veronica and Louis pledge their support for future Tech students, giving these deserving collegians the education they’ve worked so hard for. Here’s how you can join them.”
3. Share Quick-Hitting Stats
Numbers can tell an at-a-glance story. Emphasize numbers that help them understand the concept that “people like you do things like this.” For example:
- 77% of American adults believe that estate planning is important for everyone (LegalZoom)
- The number of young Americans with a will has risen 50% since the pandemic (Caring.Com)
Tip: Many statistics make it sound normal not to have a will or estate plan. Avoid those numbers. Remember that donors want to follow the crowd.
4. Make Your Social Media Easy to Find
Use hashtags like #estateplanningawarenessweek, #estateplanning and #beprepared to help bring eyes to your posts. And tell your followers what you want them to do with appropriate calls to action:
- Download our free brochure Estate Planning Starters.
- Visit our website to see how easy it is to get started.
- Contact me for a no-obligation consultation.
There are so many ways to tell the story of estate planning awareness week on social media:
- Ask members of your nonprofit board to post on their social media accounts.
- Live-stream a Q&A with a local estate planning attorney.
- Retweet content about the importance of estate planning from trusted sources.
- Pull quotes from donor stories to share on social media.
5. Remind People That Wills are For Everyone
Two common barriers to will planning are the belief that you don’t have big assets and procrastinating because the need doesn’t seem urgent. Counter with language like:
- Do you have children? You’ll need a will to ensure that your children will be cared for by the people you want as guardians.
- Do you have assets? If you’ve started a savings plan through your employer—even if it’s only $500—it’s an asset. A car that’s paid for? An asset. A checking or savings account and meaningful personal possessions? Yes, those are all assets.
- Do you dream of making the world better a better place? Use your will to leave assets to a beloved cause.
You can get more ideas from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, including sample emails and news releases. Donors will welcome your concern for their legacies and value the educational content and encouragement you provide. It’s a great week to celebrate our industry’s work!