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

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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.

longevity of givingQuestion: Does more donations made over many years (longevity of giving) truly lead to an increase in the likelihood of leaving a gift or the likelihood of considering one?
Answer: Thanks to Dr. Russell James’ analysis of our marketing data, it was determined that, indeed, “those who had made a planned gift or would consider it had, on average, gave more gifts than those who would only consider it later or never. But, the date of the first gift didn’t seem to matter. So, more gifts are better, but time since first gift didn’t really help.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is an analysis of only one data set for one client. But, from this single review, it was clear that this nonprofit’s supporters longevity of giving did not influence the likelihood that they would consider a planned gift or had already made one. Of course, we’ll keep looking at more data to see if this finding is something we can latch onto across the board.

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7 years ago

Fascinating! Are you able to disclose what type of organization the client represents? Local? National? Education? Arts?
I work for a local environmental group. When I look at folks who have made a legacy gift notification FY to date, this group has made an average of 14.5 gifts (range of 0 to 70). Of those who were donors, the average year of first gift is 1998 (range of 1980-2013).

Greg Warner
7 years ago
Reply to  Jeanine

Hi Jeanine. This data came from a Public Radio station. I guess that’s sort of local. Hope that helps.

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