Showing posts from September, 2014

Survey says...

Do you know WHY a donor decided to give to your organization? Do you know WHAT your constituents want you to improve? Do you know anything about your supporters other than just the basics? If you want to know the answers, you need to ask. And with multiple channels available to survey your supporters, it's easier than ever to ask questions and collect responses.

But before you create that online survey or send a mail piece, it's best to begin at  the end. Before you even begin to craft the questions and set up the survey, think about how you will use the collected responses. Every question you ask should have a use designed to help you better communicate with the responder or help you improve your organization.

How you format your questions is up to you. Multiple choice options allow you to easily group answers together and find the most popular response(s). Open-ended questions allow the responder to answer in their own words and provide options you may have overlooked. And,…

Planned Giving FAQs - Part Two

In part one of our Planned Giving FAQs, we answered why you should establish a planned giving program, who your prospects are for the program and what gift options are available. Now in part two, we address questions about implementing your planned giving program and helping it thrive.

How do we start a planned giving program?
First and foremost, you need to determine if a planned giving program will have long-term support, regardless of initial profitability. You need to have the support of your board and key staff, and your development team needs to have the capacity to take on planned giving.

Once the consensus is made to launch a program, there will need to be some internal planning and training of key staff and your board. Determine program policies, basic goals and objectives and program budget. Create a legacy society for planned giving donors to serve as a cultivation tool and to identify additional prospects.

After you've established the framework for your program, begin a…

Planned Giving Programs FAQs - Part One

Why establish a planned giving program?
Planned giving programs focus on the long-term sustainment of your organization. Gifts made through planned giving are typically the largest gift a donor will make, and almost everyone has the ability to make a planned gift.

Even though most gifts are deferred for several years, they will provide substantial future support if you put the effort in now. Planned giving programs allow your most loyal supporters the ability to leave a legacy and support the future of your community and mission.

Who are our planned giving prospects?
When identifying your prospects, look to your loyal donors, not just your major donors. As mentioned, almost everyone has the ability to make a planned gift, so looking only at wealth indicators to identify prospects will hinder you from growing a strong, healthy program.

Instead, look at the supporters who have been loyal to your organization. Monthly and multi-year givers (even long-term volunteers) are a good pool of p…