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  • Why You Should Stop Emphasizing Tax Savings When Promoting Planned Gifts

    By Greg Warner on March 29, 2017
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    A wellknown speaker once led the opening presentation at the ACGA Annual Symposium right in my backyard— Baltimore Maryland. In his presentation he mentioned that about 2.5 million people died in the U.S. in 2012 with an estimated 6% (150000) leaving charitable bequests. But interestingly out of those 150000 charitable estates only 2225 (1.5%) were taxable as a result...

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  • Here’s why you should remove the word "bequest" from your vocabulary

    By Greg Warner on March 27, 2017
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    The word bequest sucks when it comes to generating planned gift revenue. Stop using it. Here’s why: No one uses this word with their family and friends so you shouldn’t use it with your donors… they won’t “get it” It reminds people about death and nothing scares people away from making planned giving decisions faster than thoughts about death...

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  • 3 big reasons why some fundraisers should not critique creative

    By Greg Warner on March 24, 2017
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    Recently one of our beloved clients critiqued something we thought she should do by saying “Well if I saw that envelope I’d throw it in the trash!” Here are 3 big reasons why her reasoning is flawed: Since she has never done a mailing similar to the one we recommended she has no experience from which to draw her conclusions. Since...

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  • The 8 core components of engagement fundraising and why you desperately need them

    By Greg Warner on March 22, 2017
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    Most fundraising is based on what I call “single shot” strategies. For instance it’s an event gala or golf outing. Or perhaps it’s a mailing an email blast or a social media campaign. And it could even be a facetoface visit a tour of your facilities or a webinar. Sure you might use multiple channels to promote what you’re doing. In...

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  • Top 10 reasons why donors like taking donor surveys

    By Greg Warner on March 20, 2017
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    Here are the top 10 reasons why donors like taking donor surveys: 1. They want to be perceived as (or see themselves as) a helpful person 2. They want to be more involved in your mission 3. They want their voice to be heard 4. They want to affect change 5. They want to complain about how your organization...

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  • 7 ways your competitors are stealing your gifts

    By Greg Warner on March 17, 2017
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    Planned gifts are often the largest gifts a donor ever makes to a nonprofit and they are certainly counted among the largest gifts many nonprofits ever receive. They also improve a donor’s lifetime giving and build a donor’s sense of “family” with the nonprofit(s) they remember in their wills and trusts. No wonder your competitors are out there trying...

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  • 4 things pizza and major gift fundraising have in common

    By marketsmart on March 15, 2017
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    A while back I wrote a blog post that included 5 best practices for delivering progress reports to major donors (sometimes including legacy gift supporters too). Later on my kids wanted Domino’s Pizza. Honestly I don’t like their food. But after I ordered the pizza I realized that they treated me really really well. It was a great experience! Thanks...

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  • RIDDLE: How do you measure the success (or failure) of your planned giving program?

    By Greg Warner on March 13, 2017
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    Today I’m very proud to provide a guest post written by one of MarketSmart’s brilliant yet curious Account Managers—Lizzie Weiland. She’s got an interesting riddle to solve. Let’s see if you can help her figure it out.   It all started with what seemed to be a simple question. I was speaking with a client recently about the success he’s...

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  • The single worst way to evaluate your planned giving marketing program

    By Greg Warner on March 10, 2017
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    Recently someone told me that their current planned giving marketing efforts were not working. “How do you know?” I asked. “Because there’s been a drop in our planned giving revenue over the past couple of years” she replied. Huh?  So she was evaluating the success of her current planned giving marketing efforts based on a recent drop in planned...

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  • Here’s why when it comes to planned gifts, it isn’t necessarily ALL about the relationship

    By Greg Warner on March 8, 2017
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    I have two questions that I ask people when they say that planned gift fundraising “is all about the relationship.” I ask “How many gifts did you/your organization receive last year that ‘came over the transom’? I also ask “How many were not previously disclosed to you before you got the money or the call from the attorney?” The answer...

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