The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Legacy messaging to women.

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Jennie Thompson, ActionAid USA Board member and brilliant independent fundraising consultant  (and good friend) kindly forwarded to me new research by Chrysalis Research and Research Data Technology on behalf of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund .  The research includes welcome information about legacy messaging to women.   While the main thrust of the reseach is that women play a prominent role in their households and in the community when it comes to philanthropic giving (not especially new news to most of us), the survey also confirms that creating a family charitable legacy is a priority for women.

The questions in the survey around family charitable legacy provide clues for how we might use more persuasive  language in making the case for legacy giving.  Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said “It’s critical that my children continue our tradition of giving.”   More generally, “Virtually all donors (89 percent of the males and females) surveyed agree that it’s necessary to research the organizations they give to in order to ensure credibility. Eight out of 10 charitable givers (79 percent) indicate that when selecting a charitable organization, they research how much money goes directly into funding programs rather than into overhead. Almost three out of four charitable givers (72 percent) said they would more likely support an organization that would benefit their own communities versus one that went beyond their community.”  How can we use this insight to message more appropriately?

The Heifer Foundation does a good job of describing their named endowment opportunity in just these terms:  “Heifer Foundation named endowments are a great way to eternalize a legacy of values. Many families have chosen to establish endowments to honor traditions, or to make a statement for future generations about the things that hold great importance in their lives and in those of their loved ones.”

This kind of language and message can be incorporated into all manner of marketing materials (e.g., newsletter articles, brochures and booklets, website copy, cover letters) and, of course, in conversations with donors.  Where appropriate, discussion of a family charitable legacy might help overcome any resistance children may have to their parents’ wish to designate some of their assets to charity.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

July 21, 2009 at 11:50 pm

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