Imagine This…

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.

grandmotherDid you have a grandmother or elderly aunt, uncle or friend?  I did.

Imagine if I sent mine letters and emails every once in a while. Imagine that those letters and emails told her how great I was. Imagine them also telling her that I really needed money for my future. Imagine them telling her that she should give me money.
Also imagine if my letters and emails told her how she should have left me money in her will because, if she didn’t do that… the IRS would get it.
Furthermore, imagine that each of my letters involved complicated legal tactics for giving me money along with confusing legal jargon.
Oh, and imagine if all of these letters and emails were written with lots and lots of words that were boring, confusing and small (8 pt font or smaller).

Does this sound like what your organization is doing?
If so, I’m here to tell you that it’s not nice and it’s not fair. It may work some of the time. But if you really want to encourage legacy giving to support your mission, stop doing it! Instead, start engaging and involving your supporters with valuable offers that help them realize their goals and feel like they had a meaningful life with impact that will benefit others forever.


3 responses to “Imagine This…”

  1. Theresa Nagle says:

    Great reminder that good clearance procedures, and strict adherence to them, are key in organizations with multi-giving programs (e.g., annual, major, legacy, campaign, etc.). Annoying prospects and donors in most cases eliminates the possibility of building a path into their hearts, minds and philanthropic plans!

  2. Gary Pratt says:

    This is one of the great challenges of planned giving and fundraising generally. The larger the organization gets, and the more different areas of service to the community it does, the harder it is to personally engage with supporters with limited staff and communication dollars to identify the area that is most important to each donor. Technology is helping tremendously, but it isn’t a panacea without pitfalls.

  3. Greg Warner says:

    Thanks Gary. I agree!

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