The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Changing the Conversation.

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How can you ensure that your planned giving marketing pieces are written to prompt an increase in gift commitments?  That was the question answered by Kathy Swayze of Impact Communications and Dan Pritchard of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls in our session at the recent Bridge Conference.  To summarize:

1.   Rethink what 60, 70 and 80 look like.  Susan Sarandon is 60, Dennis Hopper is 70 and Sean Connery is 80.  All remain vital and youthful.

2.  As noted in a previous post about the Pew Research Center study, take off 15 years at least!  Beginning in the 50s, we feel 10-15 years younger than we really are.

3.  Words like “seniors,” “golden years” and “sunset of our lives” are taboo.

4.  Eliminate technical information and translate jargon into donor-friendly language.

5.  Stay away from text-heavy content.  Use lots of white space and photos and other techniques to enhance readability.

6.  Ask for the gift or for the return of the reply card.  Incorporate “calls to action.”

7.  Don’t be predictable (a la Susan Boyle).  Show your organization’s personality in your materials.  One humane organization transformed poorly attended estate planning seminars into successes by changing the content to estate planning for your pet.

8.  Tie your message to your audience.

You can download the entire power point presentation here.



One Response

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  1. I wish I had been able to attend the session. Thanks for the summary.

    Peter Schoewe

    August 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm

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