The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Tidbits of wisdom.

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I’ve just returned to the office from Planned Giving Days in DC, sponsored by the National Capital Gift Planning Council.  Lots of good information shared there:

1.  In general, attendees reported that bequest revenue is holding up and, in some cases, ahead of budget, while other gift types are down and organization budgets are down overall.

2.  Penelope Burk of Cygnus Applied Research gave the keynote on Donor Centered Fundraising.  She emphasized that the “quiet unspoken rules” are changing as the elders, who were “not easily put off their game” make way for Boomers who will quickly go away if they don’t get what they want.  Donors themselves have offered the antidote:  acknowledgements that are prompt and meaningful, that tell the donor the specific way their gift was used and gives measurable results.  Burk pointed out that a thank you letter that starts “Please accept our thanks . . .” or “Thank you for your recent generous gift of . . .” is absolutely the wrong start.  In the first 15 words you must grab the reader.  Iin fact, she says the best thank you is only one paragraph long, beautifully written on good paper and with a unique opening line.

3.  Bob Brennan of The Foundation for Physical Therapy reminded the audience that “You learn more from donors who say “no” than from the donors who say “yes.”

4.  Geoff Peters, of CDR made an interesting point about the difference between bequest and annuity marketing.  In bequest marketing, he said, the objective is both lead generation and gift closure.  In annuity marketing, on the other hand, the objective is lead generation, since it always requires a second step for gift closure.  That’s why we only know about a fraction of the bequests we receive whereas we know about each and every annuity.

More to come.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

May 18, 2009 at 2:44 pm

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