3 Times to Celebrate, Educate and Empower Your Donors

Today we welcome back Marketing Team Lead Jen Lennon to share some important dates for connecting with your donors that are on the horizon.

With summer in full swing and the 4th of July holiday in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to get serious about your fundraising plans for the last half of 2023.

In a past blog, I outlined six dates on which nonprofits need to make sure to connect with donors. Hopefully, you have those circled on your calendar and your plans already in motion.

Today let’s talk about three additional times for nonprofit fundraisers (and those focused on gifts of assets in particular) to celebrate, educate and empower their donors.

AUGUST: National Make-A-Will Month

Celebrate National Make-A-Will Month with your supporters by educating them about the importance of having a will and providing tools for them to get started. Start by addressing common concerns about creating a will in your communications this month.

3 Barriers to Creating a Will

1. Wills are just for the wealthy. According to Caring.com’s 2023 Estate Planning and Wills Survey, 35% of Americans say they don’t have an estate plan because they do not have enough assets to leave anyone.

  • Remind your supporters that people of every wealth bracket need a will. If they pass away without one in place, state law will determine what happens to their children and assets. Those decisions might not match their wishes.

2. I don’t know where to start. Fifteen percent of Americans say they don’t have a will because they don’t know how to create one.

  • Ease fears about the difficulty of creating a will by providing education. Host a will planning seminar, offer a free will planning kit or create a short video for your social platforms outlining the step-by-step process of getting started on creating your will.

3. Creating a will is expensive. Anticipating high legal fees, 14% of Americans say they don’t have a will because it costs too much.

  • While some people hire an attorney to assist with the will-creation process, there are low- and no-cost options available. Consider offering your supporters access to a free online will planning tool such as Giving Docs.

This month, remind your supporters that creating a will is more than just a legal to-do. It is an important way to extend their love, care and generosity to family, friends and the causes they care about.

OCTOBER: National Estate Planning Awareness Week, October 16-22

In 2008, the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) worked with congressional leaders to pass a resolution designating the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week.

Their goal: to help the public understand what estate planning is and why it’s so vital.

Now that your supporters know all about wills (from your August communications), educating them on additional estate planning essentials is a logical next step. This could include information on trusts, powers of attorney and living wills.

NAEPC has many resources for you to make the most out of the week. Access a “Quick Start” kit, sample emails, a press release, videos and more on their website.

Psst: Be sure to check out our annual blog (posted the first week of October) for marketing tips to help you connect with your donors during this important week.

NOVEMBER: GivingTuesday, November 28

Introduced in 2012 as a day for encouraging people to give back, GivingTuesday is celebrated each year on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving. The day is a “movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world.”

The GivingTuesday 2022 Impact Report estimates that last year alone, Americans donated $3.1 billion—a 15% increase over 2021—with online donations estimated at over $1 billion (the highest amount to date). But the day isn’t only about money. Ten million Americans gave back by volunteering, while 11 million donated goods.

The GivingTuesday website has tons of marketing resources to help your nonprofit participate in the day. Access a workbook, sample campaign timeline, social media messages, email templates, downloadable GIFs, stickers, photos, logos and more.

  • Don’t miss out on those online dollars. Make sure your donors have an easy, user-friendly, secure means to donate to your organization online specifically for GivingTuesday.
  • Boost your GivingTuesday impact by offering supporters various avenues to give back to your organization on that day—invite them to a volunteer event, host a donation drive to collect needed items, or ask them to spread the word about your good work on their social platforms.

Circling back to the beginning of the blog when I mentioned important dates you should have on your calendar already…below is a cheat sheet (or you can always read my previous blog and—BONUS—see examples of what your nonprofit colleagues have done).

Happy planning!

Quick Rundown of Important Dates

August: National Make-A-Will Month
August 17: National Nonprofit Day
September 5: International Day of Charity
October 16-22: National Estate Planning Awareness Week
November 13: World Kindness Day
November 15: National Philanthropy Day
November 28: GivingTuesday

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