The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Posts Tagged ‘Marketing

Accept All Substitutes

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Are you monitoring your competitors?  Don’t even think you have competitors?  Think again.  How often does a will where you are named a beneficiary also include the names of two or three groups working on the same or similar issues?

Seth Godin’s post from yesterday talks about how easy it is for consumers to switch because there are so many substitutes out there.  We often believe we’re unique but that’s not necessarily how our donors see us.

If you haven’t already done so, make a donation to/join your competitor organizations and then check every box they offer, including requesting gift planning information.  You’ll learn what they are doing but, more importantly, you’ll learn how they are positioning themselves, their work and the need for planned gifts.  That can help you in your own marketing.



Written by Phyllis Freedman

August 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm

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

Low/no cost planned giving marketing

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I’m always on the lookout for low/no cost ways to get our message out.  Here’s one that impressed me.  Imagine leaving it behind after donor visits or enclosing it with a proposal, a thank you note or any other correspondence you’re having with a donor or prospect.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

July 6, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Donor profiles in your planned giving newsletter?

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Tom Ahern, writing in his e-newsletter, asks whether putting donor profiles in your newsletter is worth the trouble.  The short answer:   “They can lead to bigger things … or nowhere. You decide.”

You’re at the worthwhile end of the spectrum, Ahern says, “when your donor profiles are meaningful to other donors and can lead somewhere. Then donor profiles become opportunities.”

Ahern’s article, which includes a good example of a worthwhile profile is worth a read.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

June 29, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Planned giving marketing: get rid of the teaser

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Jeff Brooks, writes a great blog called Future Fundraising Now.  He recently posted what some might consider a provocative point of view: that teaser copy on outer envelopes doesn’t work.  I agree with him wholeheartedly and find that the same is true in planned giving marketing.  Read Jeff’s blog here.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

June 28, 2010 at 11:50 pm