Planned Giving: Turning Donor Consideration Into Donor Action
Building the foundation for the right marketing strategies
Donor development, and the quest for the ultimate gift, begins when new individuals or prospects are added to the database. Whether your organization has natural constituencies — such as alumni, parents or patients — or must draw from a wider, more diverse universe of individuals believing in your mission, starting the cultivation of a special relationship from the early stages of interaction offers your organization a great opportunity to achieve its ultimate funding potential.
Start the process today with an internal evaluation of all your development activities. Does your organization operate from a “silo” approach, with little integration between annual, major and planned giving? Or do you have a comprehensive plan that maximizes overlapping donor contact initiatives and reduces the solicitation impact on best prospects? If so, by reducing internal barriers and placing donors’ interests and needs front and center, you can raise more money.
Raising that “extra” money begins with the solicitation of the first gift. Did you know that annual donors or members who become habitual contributors to your organization form the groups with the highest likelihood of becoming planned-gift donors? Furthermore, were you aware that contributors participating in your mission largely through ticketed special events are far less likely to reach their ultimate giving potential? However, season ticket subscribers, particularly at moderate pricing levels, may be among your best planned-giving prospects. Interesting, isn’t it?
However, like most gems uncovered through data mining, this information is most powerful when we understand the messages to be learned and take the next steps to ensure that we practice the most successful donor-development techniques. The following are critical knowledge points and action items.
* Most planned gifts emanate from habitual annual donors.
* Loyal giving behavior frequently trumps gift size as a predictor of planned giving.