Much like the plastic see-through barriers at store checkouts these days, virtual interactions with donors and prospects have added a new, sometimes foreign layer to the process. Can we see past it? Absolutely. Find out how to build a deeper connection with your supporters, virtually. Continue reading How to Get Real With Donors in This Virtual Age
Giving USA released its 2020 annual report last week, but it just felt, well, different. Perhaps you may even feel that it is irrelevant. So much has changed in the first six months of 2020. Let’s take a brief look into the numbers and, more importantly, let’s look ahead to see how Americans are responding and giving this year. Continue reading Giving USA 2020: Inside the Numbers and a Look Ahead
The only constant is change. -Heraclitus I think we can all agree that this sentiment has never rung more true than it does today. Whether it’s change we plan for or change we don’t plan for, change is the only constant. The COVID-19 pandemic, corresponding economic impact and the sweeping national reflection on racial inequality haveContinue reading 3 Critical Factors Impacting Donor Mindset Today
The American Council on Gift Annuities rates committee has revealed a new schedule of suggested maximum two-life charitable gift annuity (CGA) rates for gifts established on or after July 1, 2020. The new two-life rates are 0.3% to 0.5% lower than the current rates. Download our sample donor letter to reach out to those who may be interested in making a gift before July 1 to take advantage of the current rates. Continue reading [FREE DOWNLOAD] Two-Life CGA Suggested Maximum Rate Schedules Are Here
Stories are how we share our culture, pass down our traditions and influence others. We are literally hardwired for storytelling. Perfect for fundraising, right? But if the formula is so simple—character + conflict + resourcefulness = resolution—then why don’t more stories resonate? Here are five mistakes that might be in the way. Continue reading 5 Storytelling Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)
We get back to the fundamentals today. A special thanks to Stelter’s Senior Gift Planning Consultant, Lynn M. Gaumer, J.D., for offering her insights about planned giving terms every development professional should know. Continue reading [FREE DOWNLOAD] Planned Giving Terms Your Team Should Know…Plus a Little Alphabet Soup
The American Council on Gift Annuities rates committee has revealed a new schedule of suggested maximum single-life charitable gift annuity (CGA) rates for gifts established on or after July 1, 2020. Check out our chart of the new rates and download our sample donor letter to reach out to those who may be interested in making a gift before July 1 to take advantage of the current rates. Continue reading Breaking News: ACGA Releases New Suggested Maximum Single-Life Rate Schedules [FREE DOWNLOAD]
Find out how our friends at Loma Linda University turned lemons into lemonade. Learn more about their recent mailing that ultimately led to $7.9 million in planned giving conversations. Continue reading With a Pandemic Raging and Rates Dropping, Nobody Expected This Jaw-Dropping Windfall
Since March, The Stelter Company has been polling nonprofits across the country that have established planned giving programs to learn how the pandemic is affecting their efforts. Last week, we released our Planned Giving Pulse Survey #2, which captures the latest impact on nonprofit marketing programs, job stability and planned giving budgets nationwide. The results are both inspiring and sobering. Continue reading Stelter Planned Giving Pulse Survey #2: 3 Uplifting Discoveries That Made Us Smile
What’s the message now that the news cycle is stuck on repeat, you still don’t understand your kids’ 5th-grade math homework and nobody can bring themselves to empty the dishwasher? What now? We’ve got a plan. Continue reading A Short-Term Guide for Marketing Planned Giving: A plan for the next 90 days
Stelter’s Senior Gift Planning Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D., is back to share an update on the new schedule of CGA rates. We recommend you reach out now to your donors who may be interested in making a gift before July 1 to take advantage of the current rates. To assist you with this, we are providing a letter that you can customize and use for your donor communications. Continue reading [FREE DOWNLOAD] How to Let Your Donors Know About the New Charitable Gift Annuity Rates
How can we make the most—and get the most—from our video meetings? Run your video meetings like a pro with these best practices. Plus, free zoom backgrounds you can use for your next meeting! Continue reading How to Have the Best Video Meetings + Free Zoom Backgrounds
A new survey shares best practices that all charities can follow for charitable gift annuity programs. This survey—the first of its kind—was conducted jointly by the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) and the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP). Here to breakdown three main takeaways from the survey is Lynn Gaumer, J.D., Stelter’s Sr. Gift Planning Consultant. Continue reading CGA Program Best Practices You Need to Know: A Review of the ACGA/CGP CGA Survey
Last week, many fundraisers from across the country gathered in the comfort of their own homes and logged in to the first virtual ACGA Conference. The COVID-19 pandemic was top of mind and a common thread in many presentations. Speakers looked to past pandemics and economic downturns for guidance on what charitable giving will look like this year, addressed current concerns and looked to the future. Here are a few key takeaways from Stelter’s Executive Vice President Jeremy Stelter and Senior Gift Planning Consultant Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Continue reading Key Takeaways From the First-Ever Virtual ACGA Conference
Should you or should you not continue—or start—your Legacy Challenge? I’d argue yes…if it’s positioned the right way. Find out how to effectively frame Legacy Challenges today, and the 3 key benefits these challenges can offer your donors and your nonprofit. Continue reading Legacy Challenges in the Time of COVID-19: What Should You Do?
Words matter, especially in marketing—and especially right now. Resonate with more donors with the help of repurposing. Find out how to repurpose and fine tune your marketing during uncertain times. Continue reading How to Fine Tune Your Marketing for Relevance During Uncertain Times
Our partnership with nearly 1,500 nonprofits involves helping them educate donors about planned giving and offering donors the opportunity to act on making a planned gift easily. And while it is extremely important to stay top-of-mind with your donors during this time, we know that in the current environment this messaging needs to change. You must pivot to a message of stewardship. Reviewing stewardship campaigns Stelter has produced for our clients over the past year, there are three things in common that helped lead to their success. Continue reading 3 Must-Haves for Stewarding Donors Successfully
Face-to-face donor meetings are on an indefinite hold—which means major and planned gift officers across the country are finding themselves grounded from the thing they love to do most. So where do you go from here, to continue to engage your portfolio, extend your donor discovery or even identify new individuals for cultivation? Continue reading 3 Tips on How to Engage Donors When Face-to-Face Isn’t Possible
With our world upside down and events all around us being canceled, new opportunities to share and connect are emerging. Earlier this week, nearly 1,000 fundraisers gathered around their own respective viewing devices for the first-ever AFP ICON VIRTUAL Conference—including Danny Herzberg, Stelter Regional Account Representative. I sat down with Danny to hear his biggest takeaways from the conference. Continue reading 3 Themes From the First-Ever AFP ICON VIRTUAL Conference
Right now, and over these next few months, your priority isn’t stewarding gifts. It’s stewarding people. Your people—donors, volunteers, board members and those who’ve shown they care about you and what you do—are in need of connection and community. Stay relevant and purposeful with these stewardship suggestions: Continue reading Why Now Is the Right Time to Steward Your Donors
On March 12, we stopped the Stelter presses (the literal print presses as well as the email queue) and attacked the virus with the weapons we had on hand—creativity and thoughtfulness. (Plus our guts, we always trust our guts.) As we dug in, we spotted words, images and calls to action that had changed meaning. Here’s what we found. Continue reading Lessons From the Coronavirus War Room
Time by ourselves can be powerful. Take advantage of it by planning and prioritizing. This isn’t time to put plans on hold. It’s time to be bold … Continue reading How to Make the Most of Your Social Distancing Time: Planning & Education
We’re here to calm your nerves and remind you of the simple steps to take when the future feels uncomfortably gray. Here are 3 mantras for marketing planned giving right now. Continue reading Marketing in the Time of Coronavirus
How do you address planned giving doubt and combat a board’s “we need the cash now” mindset? Let’s start with a few universal truths about why planned giving is worth the investment and the wait, and why it’s worth fighting for. Continue reading How to Make Your Board See the Value of Planned Giving
Last week in D.C., nonprofit fundraisers came together to discuss the latest trends, explore issues and share insights at the ANA DC Nonprofit Conference. Here are 5 key themes to help you get caught up. Continue reading 5 Themes From the ANA DC Nonprofit Conference
Think beyond the annual gala with these ideas to enhance your nonprofit’s lifestyle brand. Continue reading Why Planned Giving Isn’t Just About Fundraising
Gifts of complex or high-risk assets can be difficult for both the donor and the nonprofit to navigate—especially without any guidance. A solid gift acceptance policy can help. Continue reading The 8 Essential Elements of a Gift Acceptance Policy
Let’s be honest: The likelihood of directly receiving a planned gift because of what you write, in a marketing solicitation for example, no matter how eloquently presented, is, well, low. “Huh?” you might be asking yourself. “Then why am I reading this?!” Stay with me. Continue reading How to Write Planned Giving Materials That Engage Your Donors
The Stelter Company’s most recent research, Women & Giving: A Marketing Roadmap, showcases the differences that surface between men and women—differences related to giving, finances and self-image. I’m here today to share some findings that can help your nonprofit’s planned giving marketing program. Continue reading [FREE WHITE PAPER] Women & Giving: A Marketing Roadmap
We’ve received a lot of questions on the new SECURE Act. Here’s a summary of what changed, what stayed the same, what it means and what you can offer your donors. Continue reading [FREE DOWNLOADS] The SECURE Act: How Did It Change Charitable Giving?
With you in mind, we’ve put together a shortlist of trends to consider in your 2020 planned giving marketing program. Continue reading 3 of the Biggest Planned Giving Marketing Trends of 2020
While we’ve already rung in the new year, let’s countdown one more time. Here are our most popular webinars of 2019 AND an exclusive sneak peek of our 2020 Webinar Series. Continue reading Top 3 Webinars of 2019… and an Exclusive Look at Our 2020 Lineup!
The president just signed into law the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The new law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. This legislation marks the most significant changes to retirement security since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Continue reading Special Update: President Signs New Retirement Plan Legislation into Law
For me, the year 2020 represents clear vision. In that spirit, I’ve compiled a list of the blogs you all loved most in 2019. Perhaps these ideas can help inform your 2020 marketing plans, and make it the best year yet. Continue reading Best of 2019
In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker. This week, we hear from Katie’s dad, 74, about his thoughts on planned giving marketing packages. Here are 10 tidbits, straight from Katie’s Dad. Continue reading What Motivates Mature Donors? A Conversation With My 74-Year-Old Dad
We’re knocking on the door of 2020, a new year with lots of new beginnings. Does that include your planned giving program? Count down to “launch” with these 4 fundamentals to kick off your 2020 planned giving program. Continue reading 4 Fundamentals to (re)Launch a Planned Giving Program in the New Year
Do you want to master the art of accepting real estate gifts? Discover the two Ps of real estate donations and unlock your nonprofit’s full fundraising potential. Continue reading What to Do When a Donor Wants to Give Real Estate
The American Council on Gift Annuities recently revealed a new schedule of suggested maximum gift annuity rates for gifts established on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Score your free donor letter and customize it for your nonprofit’s CGA communications. Continue reading [FREE DOWNLOAD] How to Let Your Donors Know About the New Charitable Gift Annuity Rates
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Catch up on the latest charitable giving news here.Continue reading Special Update: 4 Newsworthy Items in Charitable Giving Right Now
Are you wondering how your nonprofit can promote planned giving this holiday season? Check out our Holiday Marketing Checklist for 10 tips to promote legacy gifts during the holidays. Continue reading 10 Ways to Promote Planned Giving During the Holidays
No matter how busy your nonprofit is this time of year, don’t miss out on the opportunity to thank your donors while spreading awareness for your cause this National Philanthropy Day. Snag your free social images here. Continue reading [FREE IMAGES] How to Celebrate National Philanthropy Day
Stories invite people to listen. Better yet, impact stories invite people to feel. Here are four ways to start building your nonprofit’s impact story reserve. Continue reading Effective Storytelling: 4 Ways to Get an Impact Story
Take the scare out of planned giving. Here’s how to discuss 5 common donor hesitations and make planned giving a treat to complete. Continue reading Planned Giving Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
Another amazing national conference has come and gone, but the connections and learnings will impact gift planners and their work long after the last person left New Orleans. Continue reading 4 Key Takeaways from CGP 2019–In a Nutshell: Planned Giving Is Alive and Well!
Allow the donor to share their connection with you before you link your nonprofit’s mission to them. By enjoying storytime first, you can make a more educated, meaningful ask. Discover ten ways to open a conversation by listening. Continue reading [INFOGRAPHIC] Ask Them for Their Memories, Not Their Money
Recently, I read a Q&A with Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, in Delta’s Sky magazine. (Work travels.) Something he said stuck with me. Continue reading The 1 Mistake (You Can Avoid) That Can Kill a Planned Gift Prospect
It is estimated that over half of Americans (56 percent) do not have an up-to-date estate plan. In order to raise awareness about the importance of estate planning, Congress declared the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Continue reading Estate Planning Awareness: Help Your Donors Plan Their Legacy
How long have you been in planned giving? Think back, say 15-20 years, and you may remember taking a more traditional path to cultivating prospects’ and donor’s planned gifts. Continue reading What Are You Doing to Connect with Your Self-Directed Donor?
Last week I was working with a marketing director at a national publishing firm who inspired me. She shared a term I hadn’t used before: Dangle the carrot. She was asking how we move prospects to take the next action. What was the carrot that motivates a step? Continue reading Dangle the Carrot: 3 Ways to Encourage the Next Step
No ifs, whens or buts about it. Personalization is the now—not the future—of planned giving marketing. Continue reading Get Personal: Make Your PG Marketing More Creative—and Impactful
September 5 is International Day of Charity, designated by the United Nations General Assembly as a day to shine a light on charity-related activities worldwide. On this day, individuals, nonprofits and volunteer organizations raise awareness, organize special events and build support for charitable works. Continue reading Read These: The Best Quotes to Prepare You for International Day of Charity
The focus of this blog is not only to confirm ‘best practices’ as it relates to planned giving inclusion in campaigns, but also expand your thinking around how campaigns can enhance your planned giving outreach.Continue reading 5 Things Successful Planned Giving Campaigns Have in Common
The state of Iowa just finished 11 days of eating fried food on a stick and I’m celebrating (while walking off the calories) by noting the clever marketing techniques utilized by one of the most resourceful brands around. Continue reading 3 Marketing Lessons I Learned at the Iowa State Fair
This Saturday, August 17, is National Nonprofit Day—a day set aside to recognize the positive impact nonprofits like yours have on communities and the world. Continue reading [FREE IMAGES] Celebrate National Nonprofit Day With Us
Talking with board members about fundraising can be a tricky proposition. Come in heavy-handed and they might run for the exit; don’t give enough of a push and they could lose accountability.
But board participation in fundraising is more than an extra “nice” that they can do. It’s imperative.
Continue reading How To Get Your Board on Board With Fundraising
Think you’re good at what you do? Some days perhaps even great? While other days…leave you questioning.
Then you know that no two days are alike in planned giving. The highs, the lows, the in-between’s and the not knowing. You’ve been through them all, sometimes within minutes.Continue reading How Do You Know You’re Good at Planned Giving?
Some shops talk, and some don’t. Here are 5 sure-fire ways to improve your internal communication and optimize your planned giving marketing. Continue reading Are Your Marketing and Development Teams on the Same Page?
Fundraisers, marketers and nonprofit professionals converged in Washington, D.C. last week…and for once it wasn’t to lobby. The Bridge Conference was an educational gathering with tracks on content marketing, peer-to-peer fundraising, stewardship, acquisition and more. Today I’m here to share the ideas that sparked for me. Continue reading 7 Ideas Nabbed from the Bridge Conference
With the average turnover rate for fundraisers a mere 18 months, there’s little doubt your development team will go through transition. What will you do when, not if, a staff member leaves? Here’s some advice from the pros. Continue reading Keeping Donors Happy When Your Development Team Is in Transition
Craft and tell a more powerful planned giving story with these 5 Stelter elements of storytelling. Continue reading How to Write Donor Stories That Make Prospects Take Action
We welcome back a special guest on the blog: Stelter’s Senior Gift Planning Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn gives us her analysis on Giving USA’s 2019 numbers. Continue reading Giving USA 2019: Inside the Numbers
How do you measure the success of your planned giving marketing efforts? Stelter Chief Client Strategy Officer Michael Hutney shares how to determine your program’s ROI. Continue reading Even If You Hate Golf, Pay Attention to This One Important Lesson
Spending a year training next to local leaders in finance, marketing, innovation and economic growth (among other disciplines) is a humbling experience. Here are 5 takeaways from these strategists that I’m stealing for myself. Continue reading 5 Leadership Lessons You Need for Your Team
Staying out of the spam folder can be a challenge. With 14.5 billion spam messages sent per day globally, email service providers are working harder than ever to have emails arrive in inboxes. Discover how to increase your email deliverability to your donors. Continue reading How to Get Your Emails Into Your Donor’s Inbox
Think direct mail and digital, not direct mail or digital. Here are 5 tips to strengthen your multichannel marketing efforts for planned giving. Continue reading The Truth About Direct Mail and Digital Marketing
Surveys shed light on what donors may need to move the needle from a one-time or annual gift to a legacy or planned gift. Here are 5 tips to improve your planned giving donor surveys. Continue reading How to Make Your Donor Surveys More Successful
You need a variety of at-your-fingertip offers to ensure that you spend your time nurturing donors at the point of contact rather than scrambling for material when you have their ear. This is your offer stable. Here are two ways to craft it. Continue reading The Key to More Leads? Create an Offer Stable
There is no magic number. However, there are some indicators of what might work best for your nonprofit’s social media strategy. Ask yourself these 3 questions to find out your optimal posting schedule. Continue reading How Often Should Your Nonprofit Post on Social Media?
Here is your shortcut guide to making the most out of your marketing drivers and destinations. Continue reading How to Get Your Donors Where You Want Them to Go
Are you getting in your own way of a gift opportunity? Here are 4 tips to consider when you’re prepping your next fundraising appeal. Continue reading Donor-Centered Appeals (Or, How to Get Out of Your Own Way)
National Volunteer Month is the perfect opportunity to thank your nonprofit’s volunteers. Here are 3 ways to celebrate them this April. Continue reading [FREE IMAGES] How to Make the Most of National Volunteer Month
We all know that a longstanding challenge for planned giving professionals has been to inspire donors to take action—but could estate planning tools help? Continue reading DIY Online Wills: Technology Is Putting Estate Planning Tools in the Hands of Your Donors
Today we welcome back a special guest on the blog: Stelter Senior Technical Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn returns to share her insights on promoting, receiving and acknowledging donor advised fund gifts. Donor advised funds date back to the Great Depression, yet they were not actively promoted until the early 1990s when Fidelity established FidelityContinue reading What You Need To Know Now to Promote, Receive and Acknowledge a DAF Gift
A friend of mine, a retired hospice-facility fundraiser, recently made a sizable gift to a local women’s shelter. But she never received an acknowledgment or thank you. She was even told, “No thanks, we’ve got it covered,” when she volunteered to write their thank you notes. Needless to say, she’s hesitant to go any furtherContinue reading How to Cultivate Donor Loyalty: 5 Marketing Tips
Earlier this year, I shared the primary three stages of the donor journey. Today, I’m back with the final two stages. As you may recall, the donor’s journey starts off similarly to the buyer’s journey—but can conclude with two additional destinations: donation and believer. Your nonprofit’s ultimate goal is to help your donors reach theContinue reading What Kind of Donor Journey Are You Delivering?
In her continuing series, we welcome special guest, Stelter Editorial Director, Katie Parker. Marketing is piquing interest, evoking emotion, triggering response. It’s about making something that you do relevant to them (better yet, it’s listening to their needs and answering them with your product). At the core of marketing your service is compelling copy. Here areContinue reading The 5 Questions You MUST Answer in Your Copy
The simple answer is yes. If you haven’t heard already, the donor pyramid that many of us have come to know, has changed—and perhaps is even dead. (R.I.P.) Now, if that’s the case, what kind of journey are donors experiencing today? And, more importantly, how do we engage them? First, let’s cover why the donorContinue reading Is the Donor Pyramid a Thing of the Past?
Today we welcome back a special guest on the blog: Stelter Senior Technical Consultant, Lynn Gaumer, J.D. Lynn returns to share her insights on the importance of having a plan for your planned giving marketing program—and not just leaving it to luck. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” It’s a common phrase used dailyContinue reading [FREE DOWNLOAD] Don’t Leave Your Planned Giving Program to Luck
We all have a tendency to gravitate toward the latest shiny new thing. Today’s technologies ring a shiny bell? While it’s true that technology has enabled us to target communications with donors and prospects in ways we never thought possible, even a few short years ago, they can overwhelm. Then we throw out the shinyContinue reading How to Meet Your Donors & Prospects Where They Are
New year, new trends. Early on last year, we called out some 2018 planned giving marketing trends. And we’re back to do it again. So, what’s in store for planned giving in 2019? 1. The Donor Journey The idea of a journey is not new, but returning your focus to this simple methodology could be aContinue reading Planned Giving Trends to Watch this Year
Who in planned giving hasn’t heard this myth before? (If you missed the first two myths in our series, be sure to catch up: Most of Planned Giving Is Just Plain Luck and Don’t Waste Your Time on Donors Younger Than 65.) Our third and final myth is sure to be one that you’re familiar with. ItContinue reading High Net Worth Donors Have Their Financial Affairs in Order
One of the most common myths in planned giving must hold some truth to it, right? Wrong. In fact, basing your planned giving marketing strategy around this outdated myth could prove to be fatal for your program. Here’s why: Just over 15 percent of U.S. adults are over the age of 65. In comparison, 62Continue reading Don’t Waste Your Time on Donors Younger Than 65
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 notContinue reading Most of Planned Giving Is Just Plain Luck