The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Planned giving marketing to Boomers: shifting from success to significance

with 3 comments

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about generosity as a new status marker.  Now, Matt Thornhill, who pens the Engage:  Boomers blog, writes about Worthwhile Wines, a “triple bottom line business (profits, people, planet)” as evidence of what we can expect from Boomers.  His advice reinforces the idea of generosity as a motivator.

He notes that “Typically, around age 50 we see a shift away from “success” and more towards “significance” as an underlying behavioral motivation. David Wolfe, author of Ageless Marketing, points out that such a shift isn’t a generational thing, it’s a developmental thing. Reach age 50 and beyond, and one’s motivation for many decisions in life shifts.”

He goes on to say “Combining rational marketing value (price and quality) with human, emotional values is why we think companies like Worthwhile Wines will succeed. Boomers will vote with their wallets, which are now attached to their heartstrings.”

Good advice for gift planners: stop talking about tax savings and the technical aspects of gifts.  Instead, combine the emotional appeal of your mission with the impact the donor’s gift can make and you will have a winning formula.



3 Responses

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  1. Good stuff, Phyllis. I’ve made the same point in my blog and my thesis: the Boomers are here and we must deal with it. Not only are they here, they are here and now and there are another 16 years of them coming, whether we’re ready or not. Boomers will also add substantial strain to entitlement programs, so any other life-income vehicles (planned gifts) may be able to take some of the pressure off. The P/G community is uniquely poised to help in so many areas.

    Steffan Cress

    July 21, 2010 at 5:57 am

  2. Another helpful post. Thanks Phyllis.
    I have an issue that I’d love to see addressed, preferably with some data or research to guide the way.
    It seems to me that a lot of the estate planners articles emphasize mistakes and pitfalls of having the wrong kind of wording in your will, or errors to not make in guardianship documents, etc. I can sort of see why a lawyer might use this approach to reinforce their having the right technical/legal knowledge to do the job right.
    I know fear can be a motivator, but this approach feels wrong for us in planned giving to be using. Or is an approach we should use only sparingly.
    I’d be interested in the thoughts, experiences, and research you and your readers might have on this issue.

    John Ladd

    July 23, 2010 at 10:20 am

  3. P,
    This also relates back to Daniel Pink’s idea in “Whole New Brain” that we seek transcendence, particularly as we age. Generosity can be interpreted, crafted and nurtured as a transcendent activity.

    Kirk Kirkpatrick

    September 8, 2010 at 10:09 am

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