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 giving revenues even though many of the recent gifts were surely the result of donor decisions made years earlier (and perhaps even decades earlier).
I think looking solely at recent revenue might be the single worst way to evaluate a planned giving marketing program. Why? Because there are so many reasons why her organization’s planned giving revenue might have declined recently. Here’s a short list of questions I would ask myself before deciding that my marketing isn’t working:
1- What marketing efforts have been done over the past few years and past couple of decades?
2- What kind of budget was assigned to these efforts? In other words, how much was spent?
3- What metrics have been measured to evaluate the marketing efforts? (see a list here)
By answering those questions and reviewing the metrics, you’d get a good handle on how your planned giving program’s marketing is really doing.
Bottom line: The revenue generated from your planned giving program today is a direct result of the efforts your organization put forth years ago… even decades ago.
Farmers plant seeds knowing that the fruits of their labor will come later. Sadly this person has been in charge for so long (17 years!) that she is now seeing the fruits (or lack of fruits) of her labor. She failed to plant and cultivate the right seeds long ago. And now she is feeling the pain that results from short-sighted thinking.
Don’t let this happen to you, your organization and those who depend on your organization. Start planting your seeds for planned gifts today.
Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!