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Do you care more about your legacy society than the donors in it?

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.

Some nonprofits seem to care about ‘having’ a legacy society far more than they care about the donors in them. 
There’s lots of evidence supporting my claim. For instance:

  • Way less than half of the people who make planned gifts notify the nonprofits in advance and many of those that do ask to be anonymous.
  • Look online and try to determine the benefits of joining any legacy society and you’ll see that too many provide very little real, meaningful value to the donors.
  • Some just give donors a pin and a newsletter.
  • Others don’t do anything for the donors except put them on a list in the annual report (sometimes without their permission). Yipes!

I think the organizations maintaining these weak societies created them primarily for two reasons:

  1. They believe they have to create a legacy society in order to have a robust legacy giving program but they don’t understand their true purpose.
  2. They think the opportunity to join the legacy society is a major motivator. But think about it, would you change your will just to get into the legacy society or to get on a list in the annual report or on the website?  I didn’t think so?

Some do it right.

They recognize that a legacy society can be a powerful marketing tool for:

  • Encouraging supporters to disclose their legacy gift intentions.
  • Ensuring that gifts remain in the supporters’ plans.
  • Generating leads for additional legacy gifts.
  • Gaining referrals.

How do they do it?

  • They show that they sincerely care about and appreciate each donor — not just about the existence of the society.
  • They provide them with massive value.
  • They create offers for engagement and involvement.
  • They offer opportunities for them to do even more in ways they never imagined.
  • They help the donors show their friends, colleagues and peers that they are helping your organization by making the ultimate gift.
  • They make sure they feel good!

 

Related Posts:

>>The easiest way to grow your Legacy Society (5 super-simple steps)
>>NEWS FLASH: Most of your supporters don’t really want to be in your legacy society
 

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