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5 things you should do when you get a big bequest (to ensure that your marketing budget increases!)

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.

things you should do when you get a big bequest My pal (Tricia Benson) used to work at Human Rights Campaign. During her tenure, we helped her conduct a couple of simple marketing efforts that uncovered more than 200 previously undisclosed legacy gifts (new legacy society members) and thousands of leads. Now she’s at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation — A wonderful organization!
Anyway, we had breakfast together recently and she suggested I write about what fundraisers should do when they get a big gift to ensure that they capitalize on the event.
 
So, here are my 5 steps that will help you pounce on your good fortune (whether you were directly responsible for the revenue or not):

  1. Post a sign about the gift outside your door. Be creative. Get a picture of the supporter and write something like, “Thank you Juanita!” Under that headline add the amount of her legacy gift, a picture, and perhaps even a short story about her engagement history. Use colors. Make a big deal about it. Celebrate her life and your organization’s newfound revenue that will support your mission for years to come.
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  3. Calculate your bequest potential. Use the Bequest Calculator to determine how much money your organization could generate if it got serious about planned gift marketing.
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  5. Survey your board. At the next board meeting relay what happened and ask your board to take a short private survey to determine where they are in the consideration process for a legacy gift, if they already made plans to leave a gift, or if they definitely will never leave a gift for your organization.
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  7. Create a serious plan along with a calendar. Now that everyone has heard about the big gift from Juanita, they know about the organization’s bequest potential, and board members have signed on, you need a serious 12-month and a 3-year marketing plan. Be sure to quantify anticipated results. Include metrics and a return on investment. Need help? Reach out to us! We’ll help you for FREE if you qualify.
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  9. Request the budget. Make sure it’s aligned with your strategy and the return on investment.

 

Related posts:

>> Why nonprofit budgets should be developed in alignment with strategies
>> The Secret: Why people make major gifts and bequests
 

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