Your development efforts don’t have to become a battle between encouraging immediate gifts and promoting gift plans that will be completed over time. With a little ingenuity, the two concepts can work together. Consider these options in marketing current and future gifts.
Use planned giving inserts in gift receipts and donor acknowledgments.
Your planned giving message will reach all active donors at a time when they have just made a decision to support your organization or institution. As this communication is part of a “thank you” rather than an “ask,” it offers an excellent opportunity to be of service in suggesting ways to make current and future gifts that feature additional benefits for the donor and the charitable recipient.
Don’t forget that such a strategy will not reach those who may have recently lapsed and may be at the very point in life when they are making plans for bequests and other gifts from their estates. Such donors should be contacted in ways that serve to ensure your organization is top of mind as they consider their final estate and financial plans.
Publish planned giving ads and articles in other organizational publications.
Sharing space in other publications is another cost-effective way to educate constituents on planned giving opportunities. Given the limited space and the broad audience of many organizational magazines and mission-related newsletters, the planned giving ad or article should be very general. Dollar amounts should usually be avoided in examples, as care must be taken not to “overshoot” or “undershoot” your market with examples that are too large or too small for many readers.
Don’t forget to utilize Internet and social media outreach.
Coordinate and incorporate gift planning messages and content on your website and as part of e-campaigns, email signatures and other appropriate places. Sharpe Group’s Planning Perspectives websites offer a convenient and effective way to integrate planned giving information into your existing website.
Present gift planning information at board meetings and special events.
At such events, you have access to what is often a highly motivated audience that is naturally interested in your organization and ways to make special gifts.
Some of your audience members may be younger than a typical estate gift donor or may be considering ways to better structure current gifts, so information presented should feature the best ways to make current gifts as well.
Add planned gift tag lines to your stationery.
Including a phrase such as “Consider including ________ in your will or trust” on your letterhead and other appropriate communications pieces reminds donors that planned gifts are appreciated.
In current gift solicitations, consider using remittance or wallet flap envelopes that include check-off requests for planned giving information. Such efforts repeat your message in a format that should not compete with solicitation of other gifts. The reader will typically not encounter the message in this format until after the decision to make a current gift has been made.