5 stages of the commitment process for planned gifts

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Let’s look at the five-step process individuals take before they reach a decision to leave a gift .

1- Attention
Simply stated, you cannot get someone to commit financially to your organization unless you have already attracted his or her attention. Most people don’t understand what it means to “leave a legacy”. And all the complex financial options available today will confuse most donors.  It is important to keep your messages as simple as possible at this stage of the game.The planned giving commitment process

2- Interest
After you have attracted someone’s attention, you must get him or her interested by providing information on how planned gifts can be mutually beneficial. Focus on altruistic as well as financial benefits.

3- Consideration
Once you have their attention and interest, they may begin to consider your proposition. At this stage it is important to keep the lines of communication open.  People want information when they are considering their options. They will have questions and they’ll want prompt answers. You must be properly engaged and the relationship must be well established so that communications can flow back and forth easily.

4- Evaluation

Now that the consideration process has taken place, the potential donor should understand his or her situation and will have gathered enough information to properly evaluate his or her options. It is at this stage that you will work through details and specifics. If your organization has created a mutually beneficial opportunity, the evaluation process will work in your favor. Donors will take a close look at your mission, reputation, leadership, how you will steward their gift , and all the other information you have provided. They also might even evaluate “competitors”.

5- Secure the Gift
Did you answer all of their questions? Did your recommendations fit their needs? Was it aligned with their philanthropic goals?  Did your plan truly benefit them? If so, a secured gift should be the result of all your hard work and attentiveness.

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