The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

New year’s resolution #1: more donor visits.

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A common performance objective for gift planners and an important goal of good gift planning marketing &  stewardship is increasing the number of donor visits.  But, getting those donor visits is no easy task.  Our oldest donors are often fearful of permitting a stranger through their door.  Other donors, may want to remain private.  Their unwillingness to agree to a visit may go hand-in-hand with a wish to remain anonymous in print.  And, others, especially leading edge Boomers, may suggest that they’re too busy for a visit.

But don’t take “no” for an answer.  There is good reason to push for a home visit.  Donors who have had personal visits from gift planners (or who have had personal contact with the organization’s work) typically make legacy gifts orders of magnitude larger than the average.  Although the number of donors who tell us of their intentions and the number of those who agree to a visit are small, their gifts make up in size for what they lack in number.

Growing gift planning revenue depends on both/and:  large numbers of average sized bequests, most of which you’ll never know about ahead of time, and small numbers of very large gifts. It’s the Pareto principle.  It’s not uncommon for the small number of large gifts to amount to much more total revenue than the large number of small gifts.

If getting more donor visits is so difficult yet so important, how do we get more donors to say “yes?”  I’ll offer some tips tomorrow.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

January 4, 2010 at 11:49 pm

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