Does your marketing team work collaboratively with your development team to market gift-planning opportunities?
Does your organization have a written gift-planning marketing plan for 2014? If not, here are a few goals you may consider.
Goal 1. Actively promote in your legacy society to increase membership.
Does the name relate to your mission? Does it make people feel like they want to be members? The society name can be for the founder of the organization. Often a planned gift was the catalyst to create an organization or put it on the road to long-term survival. The name can have special significance such as the founding year or the mission.
Create a welcome letter and a gift of appreciation. A book of photos for the coffee table is an excellent gift. They may share it with loved ones and friends helping you promote your organization and explain why their gift means so much to them and to you. Let your donors become your marketers.
Goal 2. Frequently honor your legacy society members.
People are motivated to give to you when they hear stories of the generosity of others.
Most planned gifts are revocable, such as bequests and beneficiary designation in retirement plans. The more you honor these individuals, the less likely they will be to change their plans. It is important to remember that most planned gifts are realized when the surviving spouse dies. If the husband made the gift in his will, will the wife include your organization in her new will after he dies? If you have honored and cultivated them both, you have increased the probability that she will also put you in her new will.
Is the legacy society list on the website, in every annual report and in periodic news stories and publications?
Goal 3. Generate great public relations.
Do you submit press releases when a bequest is realized or when a gift is committed? Often an attorney is pleased to work with you on a press report. Did you see the story this fall on NBC Nightly News about the teacher who left more than $500,000 to a senior provider in CT? The PR firm for the attorney worked with the organization on this heartwarming story.
Do you have an annual event to honor members and the families of recently deceased legacy donors? Do you send out press releases and/or put stories in your next publication about the event?
Goal 4. Put a legacy question on every solicitation
Market the opportunity to give in an additional way.
Does your annual fund reply form have a check box asking if the donor has left a gift in her will?
Do your letters have a P.S. such as Did you know you can make XX Homes one of the beneficiaries of your retirement plan without seeing an attorney or changing your will?
Goal 5. Send quarterly wills and bequest mailings.
As in annual fund solicitation, you need to be asking when someone is ready to give. In gift planning, we need to instruct potential donors in the many ways they can give today and tomorrow.
Start with a pre-printed series from Stelter; Sinclair, Townes & Company or The Planned Giving Company. If it is a brochure, send it with a cover letter from a board member or donor. Have SageAge Strategies design your own brochures and newsletters once you have some good stories.
Postcards are becoming popular and effective. SageAge can design a high-impact, gift-planning postcard campaign for a small investment.
Send them to:
- Consistent donors of three or more years, even to those who gave small gifts. They are your best bequest prospects! Three-quarters of bequest donors are annual fund donors.
- Board members – past and present
- All residents, clients, family members unless you are sure they have no assets to leave – do not assume. Even if they have a small income, they may have a home, a life insurance policy or stock certificates stuffed in a drawer.
- Planned giving donors
- Major donors
- Volunteers. They are a big, untapped resource for gifts in many of our organizations.
Make 2014 Your Best Gift-Planning Year Ever.
SageAge Strategies welcomes the opportunity to coordinate your organization’s marketing plan and your gift-planning marketing plan. We can design new gift-planning collaterals, postcard mailers and newsletters. We can also upgrade your gift-planning section of your website.