Most planned gift marketing strategies are not effective. They miss the mark. They waste money. And they leave tons of opportunities on the table.
Legacy gifts can (and do) come from just about anyone. That includes non-donors and people that are not on your organization’s radar at all.
In fact, many of my clients tell me that anywhere from 30% to more than 80% of their planned gifts come from people that never made it into their database. So why on earth would you implement a strategy that only includes your organization’s donor database and leaves out non-donor supporters, volunteers, staff and others?
There are inexpensive ways to target non-donors.
First, realize that most successful marketing is accomplished only after understanding “the marketing funnel” including (in first-to-last order):
This strategy was first developed in the late 1800’s by E. St. Elmo Lewis (one of the first ad agency owners in American) and it’s been proven effective ever since.
So your planned gift marketing strategy should look like this:
1. Build awareness (so donors and non-donor supporters understand that they can plan a gift for your organization) Note: This can be done very inexpensively but it requires a little time and effort.
2. Awaken interest (among anyone in your database and also people you may not yet know) Note: This can also be done inexpensively and it’s important to focus on generating leads at this stage so you can cultivate relationships with your interested supporters.
3. Develop desire (by nurturing leads with personalized, benefit-oriented, targeted messages or personal visits… in fundraising circles this is more commonly known as “cultivating”) Note: This is where you should invest most of your marketing dollars!
4. Inspire action (so prospects decide to commit to a planned gift) Note: Here’s where you should spend most of your staff time.
Don’t try shortcuts. Don’t waste time or money modeling your database before developing a wise marketing strategy. And don’t do nothing. If you are “stuck” and don’t know what to do first, here are the easiest awareness-building tactics I know. I posted this back in 2012 so you may not have seen it.
Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!