I’m in my late 30s, married, and with a young daughter….and I do not have a will. It was something that was on the never-ending to-do list before my daughter was born and we never got around to checking it off. And now, to be honest, it feels kind of daunting.
Did you know that around 70% of adults in the US do not have a will?
I plan to change that this month. August is “National Make-A-Will” month and my husband and I plan to sit down and think through a simple will so that (knock on wood) should anything happen, our daughter is cared for and our last wishes are known. And we will likely include a bequest to an organization that is near and dear to us as a family.
Individuals in our age group are often overlooked as planned giving prospects. However, there are many life events that come during this time including marriage, the birth of children, divorce, death of parents, etc. These are all catalysts for creating a will and designating beneficiaries.
Generally, people aged 40-55 make the best planned giving prospects. This might be a group much younger than your organization often thinks about for planned giving. It is important to remember that interest in and opportunities for planned gifts can arise at any age. In fact, a Data Axle survey found that 21% of respondents aged 18-29 said they had already made planned giving commitments with another 17% of those aged 30-44 reporting the same.
What does all of this mean to you? There is a significant opportunity for your community-based organization to engage your donors of all ages in planned giving.
You don’t want to miss out!
Below, we offer a basic outline to launch a brief and focused planned giving awareness campaign this month to take advantage of National Make-A-Will Month!
#1: Keep it simple and short. Identify a two-week time frame where you and your team can be focused on this effort and leverage the fact that August is National Make-A-Will Month (or use this structure during another time of year). Plan for approximately four emails over the course of the two weeks. Remember that all great campaigns are multichannel, so also plan corresponding posts across your social media channels.
#2: Think through the messaging of your campaign. What difference could a planned gift make? What impact does a planned gift make that annual giving does not? Use simple and familiar language (over technical or legal language). Write like you are talking to a friend or family member.
#3: Gather a few testimonials from individuals who may have already made a planned gift commitment to your organization. If you do not have any commitments, consider asking some of your major donors to share why they continue to support your work.
#4: Identify your audience. Research shows that donors who give frequently to your organization over the years are your best prospects, not necessarily those who have given a single, large gift. Loyalty speaks volumes here!
#5: Make sure that your CRM is ready to note any inquiries, responses, or gift intentions from donors. Even if you don’t have a specific “group” set up in your CRM for planned gift donors, be sure to add a note to their contact profile so that you are remembering their interest or commitment in the future.
#6: And, as always, thank, thank, thank! If you receive commitments, or interest, be sure you are following up with those donors in a timely and appropriate fashion.
Want to talk about a more detailed approach to planned giving at your organization? Let’s chat! Email us at [email protected], we can’t wait to hear from you!