I just gave a webinar last week on Professor Russell James’ brain research findings (click through this link to get access to Professor James’ own presentation of his research and findings) and the enormity of his findings and conclusions as they relate to Planned Giving programs are still in my head!
Consider this true story very carefully: I put together a beautiful post card (with built in prepaid postage return card) to 7,000 long-term direct mail donors for a client of mine last spring. Everything seemed right about it. The picture on the front linked their historic/nostalgic mission with the passing on of the tradition to future generations, and it had very simple language asking recipients to just tear off the reply card, check if you had already done something or had interest, and fold/drop in mail box. How many responses? Sadly, only 3 cards came back – all for deceased donors whose family wanted off our mailing list.
Just this past January, we sent to 4,000 out of the same 7,000 donor group a survey that requested their help with how we communicate the mission, etc… Slipped into the questionnaire – around the 6th or 7th question – was a question about giving through wills, trusts and other testamentary gifts. Our results? Hundreds of those same people not only took our survey, but 40% of those who took it had some level of interest in making such a gift. I actually have around 100 planned giving prospects to follow-up with (those who said they had done something or were interested!).
The question from this true story you should be asking yourself is simple: what was the difference maker between the two approaches? The SAME group of donors. One failed miserably. One succeeded way beyond our expectations.
Incredibly, the answer lies in Professor James’ research!
Interested? Click that link above to check out Professor James’ talk or CLICK HERE if you want to purchase (for $37.50) the ability to view my Planned Giving Club webinar presentation last week on my conclusions and practical applications that I presented to my clients and Planned Giving Club members. As much as I like giving information for free (i.e. see my hundreds of blog posts), this session was created for those who already pay for my services so it wouldn’t be fair to paying customers to just give it out!
So ask yourself this – do you send planned giving pieces to thousands of people with little or no response? Do you have similar issues in other areas of planned giving promotions (i.e. blank stares from board members and other seemingly good planned giving prospects when the topic comes up)?
Again, if my webinar (which was called “Understanding the Planned Giving Donor from Brain Images?”) interests you, CLICK HERE, pay through PayPal, and we’ll send you the link to watch the 1 hr session.