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Could advertising to your Facebook fans be a stroke of planned giving marketing brilliance?

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.

Think about this.

Planned giving marketing begins with a good list, right?

I’ve seen it time and time again.  When we look at the folks who said they already left a planned gift or are considering doing so, they are always loyal, high-affinity donors or volunteers.  And, often they are average folks.  Not rich.

Combine this with research we found online and put into our report titled 26 really interesting planned giving marketing charts, stats, and graphs.  Among other things, we found the following:

  • 43% of planned givers are under 55
  • Average age a person makes their first will is 44 while the average age of a person’s first bequest is 49
  • 31% of people never revise their wills while 75% never revise their charitable bequests
  • Top reasons people make planned gifts include (at the top of the list) a desire to support the charity and the ultimate use of the gift by that charity
  • 70% of donors who made planned gifts did so because they were asked

Now… let’s look at the people who “like” your Facebook page.  I don’t have any research to support what I’m about to write.  But here goes.  People “like” your Facebook page because:

  • They want to be closer to your organization and hear more from you because you touched them in some way that evoked a special emotion
  • They want their friends to know that they like your organization (probably because they want their friends to have the same experience and “like” your organization too)

So what am I getting at?

I’m thinking that you might want to consider planned giving advertising that is targeted solely to your Facebook fans.  It’s hyper-targeted and inexpensive.

Sure… you may not get the gift for about 30 years.  But you’ll get it.

And, if you do your planned giving marketing right… they’ll tell you about their gift soon so you can steward them properly, prevent them from taking your organization out of their will, and, hopefully, get a chance to inspire them to increase the size of their gift.

Just cut out one planned giving newsletter and you’ll have enough of a budget to target your Facebook fans for the next few years.

Am I nuts?  Or did I just find the missing link?

The arguments against this kind of advertising are my own.

  1. For starters.  Show me the money!  I think they need to make a gift of some sort in order to become planned giving prospects (although volunteers leave planned gifts even though they don’t necessarily make donations).
  2. And, what about loyalty?  Have these “likers” already exhibited (or will they someday exhibit) long-term loyalty.
  3. Plus, you may not see that gift for quite a while (although seniors make up the fastest growing segment of Facebook these days).

Facebook fans are exhibiting a high degree of affinity for your organization… publicly!  But is that enough?

I don’t know but I can tell you this:  Advertising on Facebook to your fans is pretty darn cheap.  And, if you don’t ask… you don’t get.  So I think it’s certainly worth a test.  I’ll try to get one of my clients to agree and I’ll let you know what happens.

Related Posts

>> 8 ways to promote your planned giving program on Facebook
>> How to Use Facebook to Promote Planned Giving

6 responses to “Could advertising to your Facebook fans be a stroke of planned giving marketing brilliance?”

  1. Lorri Greif says:

    LOYALTY!! It trumps everything. Whether people volunteer, make regular gifts, support your events (all of them), feel personally grateful for your service – it’s their loyalty and not their “likes” that turns into a planned gift.
    People have liked my sites for friendship, to get a gift, and even just agree. I doubt any of them have put me in their will.
    IMHO, everywhere your loyal supporters go, even your Facebook page, should have something about the importance of their planned gifts. But don’t stop your newsletters (especially if they’re targeted) for Facebook ads.

    • admin says:

      I agree. Loyalty is the key. But maybe advertising on Facebook to your high-affinity “likers” is another way to reach the loyal crowd at a very low cost (assuming some of those folks are indeed loyal)?

  2. admin says:

    I agree. Loyalty is the key. But maybe advertising on Facebook to your high-affinity “likers” is another way to reach the loyal crowd at a very low cost (assuming some of those folks are indeed loyal)?

  3. Laura Krieger says:

    I think Facebook is a great opportunity to keep planned giving in the fore. What I’d even like to see is a short testimonial from a donor “fan” who has made a planned gift and speak to how it not only benefits the recipient organization, but is providing tangible benefits to themselves, as donors.

    • admin says:

      I agree. Testimonials would be great. But a lot of folks are very private about this decision. Maybe social media will change that (hopefully).

  4. admin says:

    I agree. Testimonials would be great. But a lot of folks are very private about this decision. Maybe social media will change that (hopefully).

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