The Planned Giving Blogger

The art and science of planned giving.

Posts Tagged ‘online fundraising

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?



PG Website tip #2

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A couple of weeks ago I offered a tip for your website based on audits of some nonprofit websites I’ve recently conducted.  Here’s tip #2:

You should make sure to always include your case for giving prominently on your gift planning site. Except for donor stories that sometimes include a quote that serves as a strong vote of confidence in the organization, the websites I’ve audited don’t directly make the case for why, if the donor is including a charitable provision, it should be made to ABC organization rather than XYZ organization.

You can bet the donor visiting your site is also giving to other organizations, and more than likely organizations doing related work.  When I was at PVA, copies of wills we received always included Blinded Veterans, Disabled American Veterans and other veterans groups.  So, we should make sure our websites do a good job of reinforcing “why us.”

And rather than add more content to what already seem to be content-heavy websites, for my money, we can dispense with virtually every online word about the more complex and infrequently used gift vehicles in favor of content for donors just starting planning and for our case for giving.


Written by Phyllis Freedman

December 15, 2009 at 11:31 pm

PG Websites tip #1

with 7 comments

I’ve recently been asked to audit some gift planning websites and I noticed something they all have in common.  They start from the assumption that site visitors (that is, our donors) not only have an estate plan but intend to include a charitable provision. The content of the sites seems to suggest that it’s just a matter of helping the visitor identify the right type of gift.  However, statistics show that the vast majority of Americans, even those giving annual fund or direct mail gifts to charity, don’t even have a will.

It seems to me that we should make sure our websites (and all of our other marketing, for that matter) offer assistance to donors who don’t yet have an estate plan, including information on the importance of a will, how easy it is to get started, and how easy and satisfying it can be to leave a lasting legacy.  Given what we’ve learned recently about younger donors creating estate plans and making charitable provisions, offering valuable information for those in the planning stages is especially important.


P.S.  I’ll be posting more website tips in the future.

Written by Phyllis Freedman

November 30, 2009 at 11:31 pm