Before moving forward in our series on nonprofit fundraising strategy tips, did you read our blog entry on Feb. 4th? If not, pause…and click here (insert Jeopardy music). Ok, moving on. Obviously money makes the world go round and in your nonprofit’s case, at some point, money is required to keep your operations moving smoothly. Today we want to open your eyes to a kind of fundraising that many overlook.
You’ve heard the old saying “you can’t take it with you?” Well, it’s true. Not only can they not take it with them, but many people “of means” end up giving a huge portion of their estate to Uncle Sam. So, if they’ve spent much of their lives sowing into various nonprofits, wouldn’t it be nice if they could make one last donation at their death into the organizations that, in life, they have been so invested in? Yea, what a novel idea! This, my nonprofit friends, is “Legacy Giving”.
Legacy giving is a large part of many nonprofit fundraising stream. It just might be an opportunity for your nonprofit. So how do you expand your nonprofit fundraising strategy to capitalize on the potential of this avenue.
First, you’ll want to commit to cultivating a number of potential donors for the long haul. You need to expose them to your organization and the cause you exist to effect. If they are pouring funds into your nonprofit then they believe in your mission. Only then can you expect a potential donor to bequeath your organization a final gift. Start the process of engaging them with your nonprofit and begin the process of encouraging them to remember your cause in their final wishes.
Second, you’ll need to develop your plan to go find these donors. Start by looking at your current contacts list and networking. Do you have a rich uncle? Does anyone on your staff have a rich uncle? Does your uncle have a rich uncle? You never know, you may be related to Bill Gates! This is your “warm market” of donors. Use donor history, demographic and psychographic (attitudes, values, opinions, etc.) info to identify individuals with a potential to bequeath legacy gifts to your group.
Third, you’ll want to engage in a “lead generating” strategy. This is about cultivating your “cold market”..and remember, your cold market is your gold market! You’ll find that new potential donors are more likely to engage with you. You can find these donors by acquiring a mailing list sorted by net income thresholds, general donation history, etc. (the list company can help you target your demographics). Now, consider what tactics you’ll employ to reach out to and engage with these newly identified prospects (ads, direct mail, eBlast campaigns, brochures, etc.). This may be where you want to contract with a company like, The Winn Group, to help you craft and execute your lead generating strategy.
Finally, once you’ve connected once with these prospects – keep engaging them consistently in the future. A study of high net worth American donors conducted late in 2008 by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University revealed that the No. 1 reason donors stopped giving to a particular charity was “no longer feeling connected to the organization.” So, there you go. One touch isn’t enough to convince them to start giving…and one touch isn’t enough to encourage them to continue giving. A little connection goes a LONG way.
Hopefully these 4 little tid-bits can get your fundraising juices flowing and you’re starting to expand your fundraising vision. Be sure to connect with one of our account managers to discuss how to customize your nonprofit fundraising strategy to encompass legacy giving.
Did you find this helpful? Perhaps your nonprofit friends would find it helpful as well. Be sure to let them know about our blog so they can be in the loop with more good stuff like this. We appreciate the support!