Are you 85? I didn’t think so …

We’ve talked about the mindset of our most senior donors in the past. And we’ll most likely talk about it forever. Why? None of us know what it’s like to be 85 – unless we’re 85.

We’ve all been 16 before. Most of us have even recovered from the poor life choices we made during those teenage years to early 20s. Many of us know what it’s like to be in our 30s, some of us even know what it’s like to be in our 40s and 50s.

But none of us can know what it’s like to be 85
because we haven’t made it there yet.

We can’t know the struggle of the competing developmental drivers of maintaining control and discovering a legacy. We don’t know their thoughts about financial security vs. lifespan.

The only way we can get close is to be amazing gift officers and listen to what these donors tell us, but even this is only part of their truth.

Some wisdom:

Don’t make assumptions on their behalf

Provide options, show these donors how they can make an impact. Show them emotional stories around “People like you make gifts like this”.

Be proactive in connecting with them

Pick up the phone and ask them about their connection to your organization and thank them for their years of support.

If they used to give, but stopped …

Don’t treat them like regular LYBUNTs. Call and check in with them. Ask how they’re doing. Remember giving (on average) stops 5 years before someone passes, but they update their will within 3 years of passing.

Market to their group strategically

Don’t lump them in with all of your other donors and assume they’ll respond to the same messaging that works for your 20, 40, or 60 year old donors.

Show them they are important

Use messaging that shows they’re still an important part of your community and that they can still make an impact.

Connect as soon as possible

Most importantly if they connect with you directly or are responding to marketing – connect with them as soon as possible as they’re most likely thinking through something specific and timing is right.

Stay Informed!

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