Don’t Throw Away Your Shot in Planned Giving

Whether or not you are fan of the musical production of Hamilton, the ACLU and Impact Communications’ joint-session resonated loud and clear: if you don’t work in concert with other departments, your program might end up dead!

Here are four tips to make sure your departments aren’t feuding like Hamilton and Burr:

  1. A rising tide lifts all boats. If direct response is doing well, you have a great pipeline for major gifts and planned gifts in the future. If planned giving is doing well, it could mean increased gifts for direct response. (Yes, really! Average annual gifts go up after a donor puts your organization in their will, according to research by Dr. Russell N. James, III.)
  2. Stand together. Your message should be consistent no matter if it’s coming from direct response or planned giving. To the donor, you’re all one.. Of course, tweak your message to focus on urgent needs in direct response, and the “long view” for planned giving.
  3. Get on the same page.If you don’t have one yet, create a master calendar to show all fundraising and marketing communications in one place. The creation of the calendar will yield some ‘friendly’ negotiations around prime mailing times and audience segments. Remember, this is a give and take.
  4. Be in the room where it happens.Getting your planned giving and direct marketing teams in the same room, or even on the same email chain monthly or bi-weekly is really important. Keep each other in the loop about all donor communications. And find opportunities to help each other achieve your shared and individual goals.

Don’t Throw Away Your Shot: How to End the Duel Between Planned Giving and Direct Response left us feeling warm and fuzzy inside. We are so grateful to Liz FitzGerald and Mohammad Zaidi of the ACLU for sharing their experiences. It’s easy to end the duel at any organization when everyone keeps the donor at the heart of what drives your organization. After all, we’re already all on the same team!

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