Category: Donor Communications

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Your Legacy Society

Because August is “Make A Will” month, I’ve been writing each week about how you can encourage your donors to designate your nonprofit in their will. So far, I’ve focused on the importance of using phrases that work better than our industry estate-giving language. I’ve also conveyed the top facts that can guide you to raising more planned-giving revenue. Plus I shared the key sentences you’ll want to use in your donor communications. This week’s focus is on establishing, or advancing, your Legacy Society. Establishing a Legacy Society An absolutely essential aspect of a robust planned-giving program is thanking and

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Astounding Facts About Estate Giving

Because August is “Make A Will” month, I’ve been writing each week about how you can encourage your donors to designate your nonprofit in their will. Last week I focused on the importance of using phrases that work better than our industry estate-giving language. Now, I’d like to convey certain facts that can guide you to raising more planned-giving revenue. Astounding Facts The most common type of planned gifts are “bequests,” which are gifts made through a will or trust. More than 85% of planned gifts are bequests. Other types of planned gifts include IRA designations, life insurance gifts, charitable

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Three Phrases That Encourage Estate Giving

Since August is “Make-A-Will” month, I’ve been writing about estate and legacy (planned) giving and wills, and plan to continue doing so for the next few weeks. Please let me know if the content helps you decide your course of action. Would You Make A “Gift” In Your Will? Did you know that it’s much more effective to ask your donors to make “Gifts in your will” rather than “Bequest Gifts?” Here’s why: Russell James, JD, PhD, CFP, a philanthropy researcher based at Texas Tech University, reports that, according to the latest donor surveys, asking people to consider “Gifts in your will”

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Impact Report

Create An Impact Report That Shows Donors Your Value

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A growing number of nonprofits are creating impact reports to show donors how their contributions have made a difference. When done well, impact reports can be powerful tools for showing results through hard numbers. But they truly excel when they amplify the metrics with real-life stories and voices that put a face on the organization’s work. The Massachusetts nonprofit Root Cause married numbers and stories beautifully with its recently released Impact Report: 2021. This piece is especially effective because it provides a clear snapshot of what the organization does, uses simple graphics to display information,

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Survey

Do You Report Back After Donors Are Surveyed?

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA. Your survey to donors is only half the picture. You have to report back your findings. In this blog post, we are modeling for you how to report back, so that you in turn can do the same with your donors. You see, hundreds of LAPA’s 70,000+ blog readers and webinar attendees recently took an Audience Survey on their experiences of using our thought-leadership content—our weekly blog post, our webinars, our white papers, and sample cases for support, and Laurence’s books. Here’s what they said. You can use our format to report back to your

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Behold, the Carbon Neutral Direct Mail Campaign!

By Roger M. Craver, JD. Last week, we celebrated Earth Day, which makes it an appropriate time for fundraisers to think about what we’re really doing — professionally, personally, and collectively — to save our planet. I’m not asking you to think about raising money for climate change or conservation. Instead, it’s time to consider how our practices are affecting our planet — and how we can take collective actions at our organizations to make a difference. In gathering my ball of string for this Earth Day post, I came across a LinkedIn post from Steve Falk, President and CEO of Canada’s Prime Data.

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Write a Superb Case Statement

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA A superb case statement communicates to the donor why funds are urgently needed and why philanthropic support makes sense. It’s critical for that to occur on the first page of the case, as this sample does so well, since many people will only read that page. “How can we ever say no?,” the cover page asks. Right from the start the key question is posed and driven home. When executed well, a case statement inspires your donors to invest in your future — and become ambassadors for your mission and vision. Most people associate Cases

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Reassuring Donors in Turbulent Times

We all lose perspective.  Donors particularly lose perspective about their vital role in supporting your mission when faced with seemingly more crucial causes. That’s especially true right now as they experience the horrors of war, political misinformation campaigns that fracture our society, and personal economic struggles like higher prices.  In the midst of the AIDS pandemic, Peter Drucker once told me that it was his job “to lift the chin of [his] staff and volunteers to inspire them beyond the fear of dying to embrace their full potential to care for others and to provide real service.”  So I will

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Text to Give

Use Text Messaging for Donor Stewardship

Text messaging is an important — and largely underused — donor stewardship tool.  Advanced fundraisers have been slow to fully embrace text (aka SMS) messaging largely out of fear that they are intruding on their donors. But as texting has become the primary form of communication for many of us, it’s time to move past that fear and embrace texting as a central piece of your larger donor communications strategy.  Text marketing has an incredible 98% open rate — and most messages are read within the first 30 minutes of delivery. The average American sends more than 40 texts per

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Statement

Why You Need to Send Annual Giving Statements

By Laurence A. Pagnoni, MPA Sending annual giving statements to your donors and funders is a fundraising best practice — and an amazing opportunity to show love to your donors. An annual giving statement is also an opportunity to inform your donors about what makes your nonprofit unique. Donors tell me that they look more favorably at nonprofits that provide gift statements. These documents signal that the nonprofit is thoughtful and organized — and it gives many donors timely and highly useful information as they prepare their income tax returns. Here’s a sample gift statement that I like a lot.

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