The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Posts Tagged ‘Demographics

Planned giving marketing to Boomers: shifting from success to significance

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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.



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

Personalizing your planned giving marketing: Part II

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Oops.  As I was writing Part I of this post I accidentally hit the “publish” button instead of the “save” button before I had finished my thought.  What I meant to add was:

Although the personalized marketing tips I offered aren’t necessarily about charitable planning, but instead are more generally about estate planning, provision of that kind of information can be a real service to your constituents and can open the door to a conversation about charitable planning.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

June 14, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Personalizing your planned giving marketing.

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I’m continually struck by the sameness of a lot of planned giving marketing.  This is especially true of planned giving websites, which tend to come from one of a handful of vendors and seem to be posted by nonprofits essentially without any changes.  But, it’s also true of other kinds of planned giving marketing, much of which is generic.

I understand that sometimes it’s a cost consideration and it can also be an expertise consideration–no one with the marketing know-how to guide the changes–but maybe it’s also because we don’t realize how important or how easy it can be to tailor your content for your audience.

Here are three examples of how planned giving marketing can be customized:

1.  For an organization that fights a 100% fatal disease, information about end of life considerations

2. For organizations with a gay and lesbian constituency, information about issues pertinent to their status (in most states) as unmarried partners.  MetLife just released a MetLife Legal Planning Guide for GLBT Boomers that has lots of good information if your organization is in this category.

3.  For organizations with a disability focus, information about special needs trusts.

4.  For animal welfare organizations, information about providing for your pets in your estate plan.  At my session, Getting the Most ROI from Your Planned Giving Marketing Investment,” at the recent National Capital Area Gift Council Planning Days mentioned this.

So, take a step back.  Maybe there is something you can do.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

June 9, 2010 at 11:23 am

Trendwatching: what’s new in the “statusphere”

with one comment‘s new briefing asserts that though “. . . the need for recognition and status is at the heart of every consumer trend,” what’s different, they say, is that “an increasing number of consumers are no longer (solely) obsessed with owning or experiencing the most and/or the most expensive.”

Their definition:  “STATUSPHERE | As consumers are starting to recognize and respect fellow consumers who stray off the beaten consuming-more-than-thou-path, ‘new’ status can be about acquired skills, about eco-credentials, about generosity, about connectivity.”

“GENERATION G (generosity) captures the growing importance of ‘generosity’ as a leading societal and business mindset. As consumers are disgusted with greed and its current dire consequences for the economy—and while that same upheaval has them longing more than ever for institutions that care—the need for more generosity beautifully coincides with the ongoing (and pre-recession) emergence of an online-fuelled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers.”

Now, one of the most important drivers behind GENEROSITY is the collaborative/free/creation/crowdsourced/gift/sharing movement that—especially online—has unlocked in entirely new ways the perennial need of individuals to feel part of the greater good, to contribute, to help. But the online world of course also makes it easy to showcase and share one’s acts of altruism.

The status-implications for non-profit organizations, and B2C brands big on giving initiatives?  Work harder on helping your consumer-donors show and tell others about their donations and contributions!”


Written by Phyllis Freedman

June 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm

21st century donor engagement.

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Leave it to Starbucks to teach us yet again about creating an exceptional customer brand experience.  Their Passion Panel is an interesting model for what engagement could look like for today’s gift planning donors especially Baby Boomers.  When we want to offer donors the opportunity to deepen their engagement with us, a key component of both exceptional fundraising results and good stewardship, why not offer a innovative online engagement program?