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The simplest targeting approach for uncovering planned gifts

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I found a really interesting little nugget of information buried in an old report.  Back in 2007, The Journal of Gift Planning conducted a survey finding that 73 percent of survey respondents who work for charities reported that they have made some type of planned gift themselves.  Also the survey reported that almost 75 percent of advisers have made planned gifts.

So, if you’re marketing budget is tight and you’re looking to uncover hidden gifts, why not target your staff and you network of estate planning advisers first?  Keep in mind that donors rarely take a charity out of their estate plan.  And, they usually increase the size of their gift if they are stewarded properly.

It’s interesting that they didn’t survey Board Members or volunteers too.  But they are great targets as well.

Bottom line… if I had virtually no marketing budget but wanted to generate some disclosures so I could steward them properly, I’d target the following groups in order of importance:

  1. Board Members
  2. Staff Members/Volunteers
  3. Advisers that have a passion for the organization’s mission


  1. Katherine Swank March 4, 2013 Reply

    100% agree! Here’s the list I share with clients when discussing who to approach for short-term results. The further down the list, the longer the cultivation period you can expect:

    Your Own Planned Gift
    Past Board
    Professional Staff
    Volunterr committees such as Development Committee or Planned Gift Committee
    Long-term Employees
    $10,000+ Single-Gift donors
    Donors of securities and mutual funds
    Donors with 25 or more gifts
    Donors giving in at least 10 years

    • Author
      admin March 4, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Katherine. Great list!

  2. Phyllis Freedman March 4, 2013 Reply

    Great point, Greg. I think staff are a hugely untapped opportunity. And I agree with you about volunteers with one caveat. Often volunteers consider their time their gift. So, I would focus on volunteers who have also given. They’re great prospects.


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