As we reach the holidays and the end of the calendar year, now is a great time to make your pitch to your alumni, supporters and community members for end-of-year planned giving. Research shows that people are more likely to make a planned donation during the month of December than at any other part of the year, and these gifts are typically much more generous than those made at other times.
By following the few simple tips below, you can maximize the potential of your holiday planned giving campaign to keep your school, district or foundation on track with your fundraising goals.
Assess your prospects
It's important to understand your prospects before you make your planned giving pitch. Think about what kind of planned giving you want to ask for and then find the alumni who are most likely to contribute in that way.
For example, if you want to solicit planned giving in wills or bequests, try to target alumni who are older, as they are more likely to be thinking about or planning their legacy giving. Individuals and couples without children are also likely to make these kinds of donations.
Create quality campaign content
When you execute your planned giving campaign well, it can make a big difference for your organization in helping you reach your fundraising goals. Take the time to create a cohesive strategy with quality content that will grab the attention of your audience. Remind your alumni about what your district is doing well and how their contribution can make an real impact.
No matter what form of communication you're using, it should always be aligned with your principles, mission and narrative. By creating a framework for your communication, you can keep all your messaging on brand without producing repetitive content.
Expand your reach
Although it’s wise to target the donors who are likely to be the most generous in their giving, you should not exclude alumni who are interested in making smaller gifts. Your planned giving campaign should include phrases like “no gift is too small” or “every contribution helps” to reassure all your alumni that their giving makes a difference for your schools.
Develop relationships with donors
The reality is that your giving campaign is unlikely to be successful if you have not consistently reached out to your prospects throughout the year. When you communicate with your alumni on a consistent basis, you can develop a relationship that encourages involvement on their part. This ongoing relationship building is key to the success of your end-of-year planned giving, as well as your other fundraising efforts.
Now that you have a few essential tools, you can confidently make your planned giving pitch this holiday season.