The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Archive for the ‘E-mail’ Category

Marketing planned giving: e-newsletters Part II

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Yesterday I wrote in support of adding e-newsletters to your planned giving marketing mix, in addition to conventional newsletters, not in place of them.

“Is there a better way to get people to sign up for your emails than using a form that looks like it was created by the Census Bureau? And is there a better way to assure readers of your good intentions than placing inches of tiny grey type in the legal section of the email?”  These questions were posed recently as the intro to a wonderful blog post from Media Marketing’s ‘Email Insider.’

They suggest that your e-mail sign up form can be as simple as putting the information in a sentence instead of boxes.

Or you can be more elaborate and show your organization’s personality.

Click on either of these images to enlarge.

As to the unsubscribe information, read the post here.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

July 14, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Marketing planned giving: e-newsletters Part I

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I think e-newsletters for planned giving marketing are a good idea:  in conjunction with traditional newsletters, not in lieu of them.  I know there is a huge push to find low/no cost ways to market planned gifts and I believe e-newsletters should be one arrow in our quiver but they don’t take the place of conventional newsletters.  I know, I know, print newsletters require an investment and seniors are one of the fastest growing segments online.  Even so, I still find that most planned giving prospects have not given us their e-mail address, so the best way to reach them is still via mail.  And, I’m someone who finds it difficult to read much on a screen, so traditional reading is still my preferred way to get important content.

Also, I’m not sure anyone has done the analysis that shows that e-mail is as effective as mail at generating leads and closed gifts.  Does anyone have the data from a head-to-head test?  I don’t think so. That’s why I’m sticking with what I know works.

That said, as our audience becomes increasingly web and e-mail oriented, it makes sense for us to try to add to our marketing mix an e-newsletter (and e-mails) focused on planned giving.  We should offer it as one channel among many.  And if we’re going to include an e-newsletter in our marketing it only makes sense to try to identify the best ways to encourage donors to subscribe/give us their e-mail addresses and to turn the unsubscribe requirement into a selling point.  Some ideas for how to do that tomorrow.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

July 13, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Stewardship done right. #3

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I recently received my Summer 2009 E-Newsletter from the Heifer Foundation, fundraising arm of the Heifer Project.  The main subject of the newsletter is a new collaborative fundraising program they’ve launched which I’ll write about later.  But the e-newsletter prompted me to browse the Foundation’s website.  In the navigation labeled “Resource Center” I found two documents that are downloadable:  a brochure about connecting donor assets with aspirations and a second publication titled “Heifer Foundation Investment Management.” 

The latter publication opens with this introduction:   “Investing is a subjective and complex endeavor—with numerous intervening influences. In a sense, the portfolio is a reflection of Heifer International Foundation (HIF) itself—the values of the organization are encapsulated therein. Social restrictions, for one, make a statement with regard to priorities we hold dear. Being socially conscious in a portfolio requires extra effort and commitment to integrating the portfolio with the mission of the organization. Heifer Foundation is happy to report that our Return on Investment for our asset allocation fund since our inception has been more than 13% while still upholding our values and donor intent.   We appreciate your interest in our fiduciary responsibility regarding the investment model and methods used to secure a maximum return for both donor and recipient. One of our main organizational priorities is investment integrity and perhaps one of the most important responsibilities of Heifer Foundation.”

This publication is a wonderful stewardship piece.  I hope the Foundation is using it more broadly than just buried here on their website.  Given recent negative publicity about the risks of charitable gift annuities, and, more importantly, given the importance to Boomers of knowing exactly how their money is being used (and invested), this publication can be a real asset to donor retention and upgrading.  Sending a copy to new Legacy Society members or to donors who have requested an annuity illustration are two uses that come immediately to mind.  Click here to download a copy of the document.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

June 23, 2009 at 11:50 pm