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Marketing can be expensive and, depending on how it’s executed, a drain on internal resources. To get the most return on your investment of time and money, start with a written marketing plan. Your marketing plan can be a simple one-pager that includes:

Audience: These should be your loyal donors for targeted marketing like U.S. Mail, and then another list for everyone else.

Approach: Will you launch a planned giving campaign? How about a legacy society membership drive or a legacy challenge? A campaign may just be the thing that motivates them to take action.
Many organizations focus too much on the planned gift vehicles. Your planned giving marketing should be 80 percent “why to make a planned gift” and 20 percent “how.” People make decisions based on emotions, not logic. After all, is it logical for people to give away their hard-earned money or assets?

An Offer: Create an incentive for your donor to respond. Any marketing guru will tell you that every marketing message you send should have an offer. An offer can be a free booklet on estate planning or an item with your organization’s branding. People need a reason to take action, and something as simple as a giveaway, no matter how trivial, might just be the thing that motivates them. Think of that loyalty program you have at your favorite coffee or sandwich shop. How excited do you get when you have earned that free cup of coffee? Knowing how people will react to even the smallest offer, can you really afford to send “informational” marketing with no call to action?

Budget: No matter what the size of your budget, if you get creative, you can find ways to consistently market planned giving. Add a message about planned gift options to all your paper and electronic publications. Make sure there is enough information on your website, especially your legal name and Tax ID #. Postcards are cheap. Can you find a donor to fund a year’s PG marketing initiative?

Action Steps:

  • Plan your work and work your plan. Keep it Simple.
  • See if a current planned giving donor (with means) will fund a year’s PG marketing initiative.