Planned-Giving Donors Need Love Too
How to get started
Consider a charter membership period as a way to encourage donors who already included your organization in their estate plans to reveal their gift intentions, draw attention to your new program, add a bit of urgency by publishing a deadline and give special recognition to those who are committed, “early” investors.
Publish an announcement of your new program in your newsletter, send a mailing to all or a targeted portion of your constituency, and consider a special event to which you invite not only those who already have informed you of their deferred gifts, but also prospects. Indicate when you plan to make the first public announcement of the charter membership.
Once established, look for ways to grant public recognition to members of your society — articles for your organization’s newsletter, annual report and Web site; announcements at public events or ceremonies; donor lists in print or physically presented on a donor wall.
Include society members in organization events. Often this takes the form of an annual gathering, such as a luncheon. The main purpose is to recognize and thank donors and allow them an opportunity to meet like-minded supporters. Indicate the importance of their gifts by having the trustees/directors and executive staff attend.
But don’t limit the activities of your society here. Consider these individuals major donors and look for opportunities to include them in other important events such as annual meetings, building openings, receptions for new leaders, award ceremonies and such. Look for ways to identify them as society members at these events.
Mementos or token gifts can serve to remind a donor of your organization and as evidence to others that he or she supports you. Small gifts can provide you with an opportunity to meet and visit with your donor and begin to develop a relationship. Also consider a certificate of membership and/or a society pin for the donor to wear.