Increase Interest in a Planned Gift
One of the easiest ways to increase interest in a planned gift is by tearing down fundraising “silos” and viewing a donor’s giving behavior in a more comprehensive way.
There’s a misconception that a deferred gift doesn’t benefit an organization today. Instead, the benefits come many years into the future. But studies tell a different story.
Studies show the amount of a donor’s annual gift increases and remains constant (in other words, it won’t drop off) once they’ve made an intention to include an organization in their will.
Armed with this information, you can educate your colleagues in other areas of development so you can work together and open up opportunities to have more conversations with donors. Help them see a Major Gift donor is a prime candidate for a conversation about making a planned gift … and conversely, a person who has made a deferred gift is likely to support the organization through to the annual fund, a capital campaign, and even with a year-end donation.
Work with your team about “seeding” their emails, appeals, and posts with opportunities to learn about the powerful impact of making a planned gift.
Here are FIVE WAYS to increase interest in making a planned gift, without adding any time or expense. By working together, everyone benefits.
- Ask your colleague, such as the Major Gifts officer, to include a simple Call to Action in his/her email signature, such as “What is a Planned Gift?” Link that to your planned giving page or website.
- Include a sentence or two about the benefits of making a planned gift in the year-end appeal letters. When you include information about a planned gift in a request for an immediate donation, you help donors understand the whole range of options they have when they want to support the organization.
- Collaborate with your colleagues to find volunteers who have faithfully served the organization (even if they haven’t ever made a large gift). These faithful volunteers are strong prospects for a conversation about making a planned gift. Send them an appropriate letter (such as a year-end email) and include an invitation to connect through a phone call after the first of the year.
- Add a link to your email signature that redirects to the planned giving page of your website or to a landing page where a donor can receive a free download. Pay attention to who clicks and downloads and follow up with them.
- Send a hopeful email that shares a powerful donor story. Include an invitation to have a conversation to make a lasting impact through a deferred gift.
The more often a donor sees an invitation to talk about making a planned gift, the more natural and familiar the decision feels.
Adding subtle and consistent references pays off, especially when the whole team works together toward a common goal.
PS: This advice works in newsletters, printed annual appeals, print marketing for capital campaigns and more. Cross promotion is key!
Give us a call to see how to increase interest in deferred gifts (even in the middle of a capital campaign!)
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