Applying Traditional Marketing Techniques to Planned Giving | Sharpe Group
Posted April 19th, 2024

Applying Traditional Marketing Techniques to Planned Giving

We would all agree that marketing is critical to planned giving.

In the for-profit realm, marketing is the outbound reach to promote and sell. However, this is only 25% of the “marketing mix.”

Philip Kotler, known as the “Father of Modern Marketing,” is the author of the widely accepted practice of the “4 P’s of Marketing,” which can be used in the nonprofit world as well.

What are the 4 P’s of Marketing, and how do you use them?

Product: The physical or intangible offering. In nonprofit language, this is your mission.

Price: The amount of money your donors are willing to contribute to your mission. Depending on your gift acceptance policies, this can be a mix of bequests, life insurance, retirement plan remainders, QCDs, gift annuities, noncash gifts, DAFs, real estate, pooled income funds, etc. There are lots of options to communicate, which leads to:

Promotion: With so many good options, the timing and delivery of messaging can be very challenging. It’s important to convey a consistent message over an extended period to build awareness. Changes in your donors’ lives, tax laws, the economy, etc., are all factors in the decision to make a planned or major gift. It often takes time for donors to contemplate and create their legacy. Consistency, diligence and relationship building are the keys to success.

Place: Also known as distribution, this involves the strategies and channels used to make your product (in this case, mission) accessible. Messaging through a quarterly printed newsletter and other targeted mailings as well as regular digital outreach and a gift planning website keep these opportunities top of mind when your donors are ready to act.

Sharpe Group’s Wholistic Solution, paired with Planned Giving Program Assessments and custom training, can maximize your 4 P’s of marketing to ensure the success of your program.

Matt Czyl is a senior consultant for Sharpe Group, helping his nonprofit clients with planned giving marketing. You can connect with Matt at or via LinkedIn.

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