I would be a fool or a liar if I said that planned giving was all about immediate results (i.e. countable money). In fact, we know it typically takes many years of consistent marketing and promotion for money results to show from planned giving efforts.
Of course, as a consultant, the time frame that I am often given is much shorter. In fact, after about a year of not so successful promotional attempts at one of my clients, I was given a three month extension to generate something in terms of result. Yes, three months to show results for a planned giving program (mind you, where there was really none at all for the org previously).
That was almost two years ago – I am still working with that client.
What did I do? Well, I came up with a list of things they could have me working on in my two half days a week for them. I could send a letter to the longest term donors in the New York area and then call and hope they don’t hang up on me. I can’t remember what else I proposed except for what we did.
We had proposal from Market Smart (click to see who they are) to launch a survey campaign that was not given any attention by the leadership from the previous year. I dusted it off and re-pitched it and to their credit, the client decided to give it a shot.
The rest is history. Over 70 new members of the legacy society, hundreds of interested or definitely considering planned gifts (40% positive interest to planned giving), and proof that this organization could succeed in planned giving, if only they would market it.
Is this a sales pitch for Market Smart? No (even though I highly recommend them), it is actually a pitch for our new training program for the summer – Beyond the Planned Giving Boot Camp. Please click the link and see the line-up! We will go in depth into the two biggest “results” options in the planned giving world (surveys and legacy challenge grants), as well as provide inside guidance on CGA and CRT programs.
So, if you are struggling for results for your planned giving program – take this course. I can guarantee you will walk away with ideas that you can implement and start getting results.