The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Low & No-Cost PG Marketing.

with 8 comments

I’ll be speaking this week at the Planned Giving Days Conference of the National Capital Gift Planning Council.  My topic is getting the most bang for your buck from planned giving marketing and following the conference I’ll be posting my presentation to this blog.  In the meantime, here are just a few of my slides with tips for Low & No Cost PG Marketing.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

May 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Thanks, Phyllis-

    Your posting speaks to all the org’s that have talked themselves out of a planned giving program because it’s “too expensive” or “too technical” or “too the-excuse-du’jour”. Isn’t that why there are great planned giving consultants like you and John Elbare in Tampa? With a supposed $40 trillion changing hands from one generation to the next, they’re leaving too much on the table to not have a P/G strategy.

    Steffan Cress

    May 12, 2010 at 9:48 am

  2. I’m glad to see one of your slides suggesting not using the term “planned giving.” (“Twice-blessed gifts” is a replacement phrase I’ve heard, but it’s too religious for many applications.)
    I’m taking over a successful, though fairly new, planned giving program and am rethinking our outreach and trying to avoid jargon and re-frame our marketing to reduce barriers that our donors clearly feel in thinking about these topics.
    So one of the specific barriers I’m wrestling with: We’re not going to get in their will unless they have one. It seems that we need to find new ways to present going to a lawyer to write a will in non-threatening ways. The ominous mystique many lawyers have cultivated and the impenetrability of the legalese they use (all hard-earned perceptions) are barriers to making a will for many. So, how do we present lawyers and their process as regards wills and estate planning (another term I’m trying to replace with friendlier language)?
    Is it in similes? The lawyer is like a nutrition coach. You just need to tell her where you are and your goals and she’ll design the right eating plan for you. She’s learned the chemistry of vitamins so you don’t have to know it. Or like a personal trainer, etc.
    Do you know creative people in the field who are exploring new ways of talking about these issues, who are identifying and the barriers to our donors planning gifts, and who are finding ways to dismantle them?
    I seem to be asking more questions than positing solutions.

    John Ladd

    May 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

    • Hi John

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I’ve read that more than half of all American adults don’t have a will so we really need to address this audience in our marketing if we’re going to get the largest share of the transfer pie. Some of the things that I’ve found helpful are to break down the process into steps so it’s less intimidating; give donors the tools to organize themselves for a meeting with an attorney; give general guidance for how to find an attorney if they don’t have one and, most importantly, position the whole idea of creating a will as a way to gain some control in their lives. Folks feel like so much is out of their control these days that the idea of controlling something has appeal. I also like the notion of describing a will as a love letter to your family.

      Best, Phyllis

      Phyllis Freedman

      May 12, 2010 at 11:05 am

  3. Last year David Whitehead (from AARP) and Jay Steenhuysen (Covenant Calls) gave a presentation at the BRIDGE conference called “Reaching Seniors: Building Relationships Through Estate Planning & Bequests.” They addressed a lot of the issues John brought up above in their presentation, and had a LOT of great ideas. I still refer to their idea of helping to work donors through “stuck” points when mentally auditing our program’s marketing materials and resources. They also had some really relevant insights into looking at your materials and program from a senior’s context- including issues of control, and again- those “stuck points” that can get a donor hung up and keep them from successfully planning their legacy. Not sure if their presentation is floating around out there somewhere (with their permissions, of course!), but if not, it might be worth reaching out to them and bouncing some ideas off of them!


    May 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    • Hi Jess
      Thanks for the great suggestion. I actually blogged about that presentation in an August 4th post I agree with you that they made some excellent points worth remembering.

      Best, Phyllis

      Phyllis Freedman

      May 12, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    • Thanks Jess. I’ve not found the presentation on the web, but I’ve emailed Jay Steenhuysen and asked him for help finding it or to send it to me.
      Both you and Phillis talk about the issue of control. I’d be interested in hearing more about that: what’s behind this issue, what or whom are they wanting to control, etc.

      John Ladd

      May 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

      • Hi John
        Here’s what I can tell you about “control.” According to Jay, positioning creating a will as about control enables you to talk about a will in a positive context, that is, choosing personal representatives such as powers of attorney, guardians, executors, etc. When I think about control I think about how much is outside our control and how at a loss many people today feel because they are powerless to control things that are happening in the world. So, exercising control over things we can do something about can be empowering. I’ll also e-mail Jay and see if he’d be willing to guest blog his answer.

        Regards, Phyllis

        Phyllis Freedman

        May 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  4. Thank you’s to Jess and Phyllis
    I emailed Jay Steenhuysen and he was kind enough to send me the slides from his presentation, “Reaching Seniors.” The slides cover a wide range of issues and are full of thoughtful insights that will be of use to me for some time to come.
    Jay doesn’t seem to write many articles–at least that I’ve been able to find–but I did find one excerpt from a presentation that reminds us of the role of the past, present, and future in talking with donors. Here’s the URL:

    John Ladd

    May 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: