Planned Giving

Straight talk about major, mid-level and legacy gift fundraising to help you be a better fundraiser

Does Longevity of Giving Increase the Likelihood That Your Supporters Would Make a Planned Gift?

Question: Does more donations made over many years (longevity of giving) truly lead to an increase in the likelihood of leaving a gift or the… Read More

Ya Gotta Give ‘Em Value

Too often people engage with charities but get very little in return. Yet, they keep trying.   They’ll involve themselves with your charity over and over… Read More

7 Simple Lessons to Remember from Dr. Russell James About Planned Gift Marketing

Use family words (stories and simple, colloquial words) not formal words Use social examples/norms such as: Many of our donors like to make a gift… Read More

6 "Ins" and "Outs" for Your Planned Gift Marketing in 2015


3 Actions You Can Take if Your Nonprofit Website Looks Like a Brochure and Acts Like a File Cabinet

Most nonprofit websites really stink!    There, I said it.   Why? Because they are simply online brochures or, worse, filing cabinets of stuff you… Read More

Your Job is NOT to Raise Funds

You are not a fundraiser. You are, instead, an engagement facilitator. Tweet this! And, the purpose of your engagements with donors is to discover why… Read More

Engagement is Everything!

Hi-end hotels = Service is everything = Convenience is everything   Hardware tools = Reliability is everything   Home alarm systems = Security is… Read More

5 Ways to FAIL at Major and Legacy Gift Marketing (and 3 Ways to SUCCEED)

Ways to fail 1. Listen to your marketing staff, family, friends, board members, or your “gut” 2. Listen to your donors (even they do not… Read More

Know Me, Like Me, Trust Me

Fundraisers can learn a lot from private business experts and entrepreneurs. One of my favorite bloggers, Thomson Dawson, recently wrote a post about his strategy for… Read More

Building Awareness for Planned Giving is Easier and Less Expensive Than Ever

Promoting planned giving doesn’t have to be expensive. If you have traffic on your website, you have a chance to promote planned giving for pennies… Read More

4 Email Metrics That Matter Most for Major and Legacy Gifts Marketing

Don’t get tricked into measuring meaningless stats. Here are the 4 email metrics that matter most for major and legacy gift marketing: 1- Click-thru rates… Read More

About Building Awareness for Planned Gifts

Effective planned giving marketing requires a solid strategy along with the following tactical steps: Building awareness Generating leads Cultivating those leads Closing gifts Stewarding your… Read More

The Ultimate Planned Gift Marketing Strategy (4 simple steps)

Most planned gift marketing strategies are not effective.  They miss the mark. They waste money. And they leave tons of opportunities on the table. Legacy… Read More

Are Your Legacy Donors Spiteful?

Sad but true.  Many legacy donors simply don’t want to see their hard-earned money going to their relatives. Top reasons why? 1- Because they think… Read More

9 Questions Fundraisers Need to Ask Themselves In Order to Improve in 2014

Commercial businesses and charities both have to fulfill needs in order to survive.  But whose needs do they serve? You might think that commercial businesses… Read More

4 Easy Ways to Become Designated as a Planned Gift Beneficiary

  Recently I found myself wondering…. “why aren’t we promoting beneficiary designations more?” A beneficiary designation is by far the simplest way to create a… Read More

What's stopping you from communicating with your legacy giving prospects?

Getting a single email, letter or telephone call out to a legacy giving prospect isn’t always easy.  In fact, with all we have to do… Read More

How to make the initial engagement with a planned giving prospect.

Recently on the Smart Planned Giving Marketers group on LinkedIn, a member of the group asked the following about making the initial engagement with a… Read More

Cast a wide net for planned gifts

From a marketer’s perspective (and based on my experience), I think fundraisers need to initially cast a wide net in order to secure more planned… Read More

DMAW, their MAXI Awards, and a big “fail” for planned giving

  At the 2013 Bridge Conference last week, you could walk through a wonderful “museum” of award-winning direct marketing fundraising packages. They were neatly on… Read More

Why do people give (and what’s wrong with the list)?

In Ken Burnett’s awesome book titled Relationship Fundraising, he lists 18 reasons why people give.  I love the list but there’s one thing wrong here…. Read More

Why looking at response rates for planned giving campaigns is a rookie mistake.

Have you ever sold your home? If so, how many buyers did you need? Just one right? So if you put your house up for… Read More

How to CONFUSE your donors and get FEWER gifts.

Does your planned giving marketing copy make [insert word here from below] sense? ANY SOME NO Or does it make COMPLETE sense? Most planned giving… Read More

Why Bother Finding Hidden Planned Gifts?

Recently someone told me that their organization’s leadership placed a very high value on finding hidden planned gifts.  All of their marketing encouraged planned giving… Read More

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