Five Tips to Reaching Out to Planned-giving Prospects
Everyone in an organization’s annual-fund program has the potential to give a planned gift. It’s up to organizations to build an information base and marketing strategy that can identify these donors.
This according to Lawrence Henze, managing director of Blackbaud Analytics, who addresses the topic in a whitepaper titled, “Making Planned Giving Work for You.” Five tips Henze recommends to reach out to planned-giving prospects are:
1) Keep your message simple. Messaging should be clear and concise and should focus on one type of planned gift at a time, Henze writes, as bequest prospects are different from annuities prospects, and so forth. He also says organizations should eliminate acronyms and technical language -- e.g., CRAT, CRUT -- and just use plain English.
2) Solicit on the donor’s anniversary date. Analyze your database to find out which donors give regularly in a particular month or quarter, and target your planned-giving solicitation to coincide with that.
3) Segment your solicitations. Break down donors based on what channel they respond to, e.g., direct mail vs. telemarketing vs. online. This not only will improve response -- it will save the organization money.
4) Cultivate a relationship with donors. Since your annual donors are your best planned-giving prospects, it’s important to nurture a relationship with them from the start. Henze says that once consistent donors reach the age of 40, officers should reach out to them to further build the relationship on a more personal level.
5) Work together internally. In order to build relationships with donors, your annual-fund staff must understand what your planned-giving team is trying to do and why long-term relationships with donors are so important. The work of the annual-fund staff often can result in larger gifts to the organization, Henze writes.
Lawrence Henze can be reached via www.blackbaud.com.