PG Marketing Poll Results Are In


This is was an interesting exercise.  Even though the results of 30 something organizations in a poll is not significant statistically, it certainly gives us an idea of what is typical in planned giving marketing.  NOTE: Please scroll to the end of this post to take one more follow-up question!

Firstly, here are the results of the last question, the size of the fundraising programs answering the questions:

question 3

Basically, we are talking organizations raising over a million a year, with a significant number raising over $10 million a year.

Now, take a look at the answers to the first question:

question 1

I am guessing that the orgs raising over $10 million a year make of those spending over $10,000 a year on planned giving marketing and certainly those spending over $100,000 a year in marketing!  Remember, we had only 13 orgs raising over $10 million a year in the question above.  That means out of the 16 orgs that said they spent over $10,000, only 4 probably come from the group of 17 raising between $1 million and $10 million.  In other words, most orgs who raise between $1 and $10 million spend LESS THAN $10,000 a year on their planned giving marketing. Even though this is just a test of the blog readership, it’s still disturbing.

Want to know why your org may be lagging in planned giving?  Look at how much you are investing in your marketing.

Here are the results to the last question:

question 2Interesting that letters won the poll – I was just editing one of the my upcoming sessions for the Planned Giving Boot Camp a few minute ago and I said that I hated letters!  The “other” answers addressed personal visits, professional advisors, events, and other various things orgs do in planned giving.

My take on this one is that traditional activities (mailings in particular) still produce the most results even though I know for certain that email and websites will eventually become the prime way to reach baby-boomers and therefore, will be the prime method of promoting planned giving.  I also think that this shows us that planned giving methods and results can be vastly different between different types of programs.

Follow-up question:

Thank you for taking the time again to answer our poll!!!!



  1. While not my intention when writing Willing Wisdom, I see many charities purchasing in bulk and distributing to existing donors. One major gift it seems, is evidence that another is possible. Books that help family talk about giving decisions carry a high intrinsic value and speak to “giving” as a cerebral, deliberate and intellectual exercise. A great blog article as usual!

    1. Not sure about that conclusion Jonathan. Most organizations simply have no idea how to harness the power of email and websites to generate leads for planned giving. I’m not saying that letters don’t work. But I don’t think this proves that letters work better than other channels.

      1. I think it’s more of a snap shot than anything else. The most telling information to me was that most of the orgs raising between $1 and $10 million admitted that their planned giving marketing budgets were less than $10,000. That is paltry! For a planned giving prospect pool of 5 to 10 thousand donors, you have to at least have a budget of $25,000 or more to do a few mailings and other initiatives like email.

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