What Should the Title of your Legacy Giving Booklet Be?

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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.

legacy giving bookletA few months ago, William Rivas-Rivas (Director of Philanthropic Gifts at Animal Legal Defense Fund) posed the following question/challenge to the members of the Major and Planned Gift Marketers Group on LinkedIn:

“My organization has developed an estate planning guide and we’re looking for a title. Is Planned Giving Guide too awkward? Guide to Planned Giving too boring? I want to suggest using the word “Legacy” in the title. I’m looking for ideas. Should we avoid using words like estate (sounds too wealthy), legacy (sounds too “deadly”), and planned giving (too boring)?

It was a vibrant discussion. Lots of ideas were bounced around.

I thought you might be interested in seeing the list of titles the Group members delivered to help William. Here they are:

A Guide to Creating Your Estate Plan (Greg Lassonde, Legacy Giving Specialist/Consultant)

What will your legacy be? It’s your choice! (Sharon Wangman, Major Donor and Bequest Manager at St.Vincent de Paul Society)

Guide to Giving (Greg Vranicar, Planned Giving Director at Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph)

Guide to Planning Your Gift: Creating Your Personal Legacy (Theresa Nagle, Gift and Legacy Planning Professional)

A Guide to Philanthropic Giving (Michael Rankin, Certified Financial Planner™, Private Wealth Advisor at Integrated Financial Partners)

Telling Your Story (Charles O’Neil, Charitable Gift Planning Advisor at the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation)

My Enduring Legacy Planning Kit (Gary Pratt, Planned Giving Officer for Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and the Catholic Foundation of NE Kansas)

You can join the Major and Planned Gift Marketers Group on LinkedIn too. It’s free!

4 responses to “What Should the Title of your Legacy Giving Booklet Be?”

  1. karen t says:

    Hi there,
    I’d be interested in your take on these, Greg. I have some notes from the recent AFP Conference and Russell James’s book indicating language some of these are less than ideal.

    • Greg Warner says:

      Keep in mind… it depends where the prospect resides in the consideration process. It’s perfectly appropriate to talk about nuts and bolts when the donor is ready for nuts and bolts. Otherwise, these titles might be off-putting for supporters who have never even considered a planned gift. Be careful with that research. It’s awesome and fabulous. But it doesn’t necessarily stand up for every marketing tactic.
      Having said that… naming these things is almost impossible. Some of the things people need to do (like “financial planning”) can’t really be called anything else. That’s why I collected these ideas from which everyone can pick and choose (or tweak).

  2. richard hick says:

    Not sure those titles would grab anyone’s attention – how about ‘Read this before you die’?

    • Greg Warner says:

      Hmm. Richard, I think a title that emphasizes death is sure to get attention but it will instantly drive people away from the subject and any chance to raise a gift.

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