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The Crescendo Blog

Read the Crescendo blog for the latest changes, ideas and trends impacting charitable gift planning and philanthropy. Our blog features a number of writers on topics that include planned gifts and major gifts marketing, technology, donor motivation, stewardship and giving trends. If you have comments about our articles, please share them on our blog pages.

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New Deduction Rules Raise Questions

New Deduction Rules Raise Questions

The recently-enacted CARES Act added two temporary provisions regarding the deductibility of cash gifts. First, the Act added a $300 above-the-line deduction for nonitemizers. Second, the cash deduction limit for itemized deductions was temporarily increased from 60% of adjusted gross income (AGI)...

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A Go-To-Guide for Crafting Legacy Enewsletters

A Go-To-Guide for Crafting Legacy Enewsletters

If you are like most people, you are dealing with a myriad of new issues and responsibilities as a result of COVID-19 and working from home. Adding a “legacy enewsletter” to your list of to-dos for the week might seem like a daunting task. However, with donors creating and updating wills...

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Strategies to Help Your Donors Understand How to Stand with You in Your Mission

Strategies to Help Your Donors Understand How to Stand with You in Your Mission

There is no doubt that this is a challenging time for everyone, including your donors. During this time of hardship, another marketing approach could be creating passion for your mission.Ultimately, this means creating champions for your cause. In an article published during the financial crisis...

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Tips for Stress Management: Finding Balance during COVID-19

Tips for Stress Management: Finding Balance during COVID-19

COVID-19 has created many disruptions and changes to the personal and work lives of millions of Americans.  If you are like most people, you find these kinds of disruptions stressful. It is common for gift planners today to wear multiple hats, such as raising planned gifts, major gifts and...

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How to Educate Your Donors with a Motivational Proposal

How to Educate Your Donors with a Motivational Proposal

Even during these difficult times for all of us, your donors and friends want to continue partnering with your mission to make a difference. What a privilege you have to help them manage their gifts to meet both their wishes and your mission's needs. We hear inspiring reports of individuals...

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Working from Home as a Gift Planner

Working from Home as a Gift Planner

In these odd and unpredictable times, we have all had to make adjustments. If you were a regular at your favorite coffee shop, you may have had to learn how your coffee pot works.  If you are an avid sports fan, you have been forced to find other programs to watch on television.  Saturday...

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Why Market Enewsletters?

Why Market Enewsletters?

We delete “junk email” or spam for good reason. We are not interested what is being offered. But, what happens when we come across an email that appeals to our interests? Well, that is a different story.Personally, I look forward to receiving emails from writers I value. If I receive...

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Charitable Remainder Unitrust Basics

Charitable Remainder Unitrust Basics

Prior to the SECURE Act, inherited IRAs for nonspouse beneficiaries could be distributed over the beneficiary’s life expectancy. This strategy was often referred to as a “stretch” IRA.  Now, inherited IRAs and other qualified plans must be paid out over a maximum term of ten...

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How You Can Engage Your Donors

How You Can Engage Your Donors

Now might be the perfect time to think about conducting a donor survey. Feedback from our donors is crucial to understanding not only what their desires are, but it's also a great way to gauge how we are performing as an institution in their eyes.This kind of feedback can be invaluable to an...

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3 Steps to Successfully Market Planned Gifts on Facebook

3 Steps to Successfully Market Planned Gifts on Facebook

Nonprofits have many different communication tools available to engage with planned giving donors. Baby boomers and seniors are more active on the internet - specifically social media - than ever before.According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 70% of U.S. adults age 50-64 use Facebook. That...

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Ways You Can Connect with and Reassure Your Donor Friends

Ways You Can Connect with and Reassure Your Donor Friends

I received a phone call from a nonprofit I have been supporting for over 10 years. They thanked me for my support and let me know they were praying for me.They also wanted to reassure me that their mission was unmovable and unchanged. And now, more than ever, they are doing all they can to provide...

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Graphic Design for the Greater Good

Graphic Design for the Greater Good

Throughout history, design has played a critical role in communicating messages to the public in times of uncertainty or crisis. To be sure, the dissemination of information through visual means has been one of the most effective and efficient ways to relay messages quickly in modern human history....

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Meaningful and Personal Donor Contacts

Meaningful and Personal Donor Contacts

Your website is a primary motivation and education opportunity. During this challenging time, it is especially important to remember that your donors move forward and stay with you when they feel valued, appreciated, are kept engaged with your mission and when they have a sense of belonging.Now is...

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CARES Act - Three Big Changes

CARES Act - Three Big Changes

On March 27, 2020, the House and Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. There are three big changes that came out of the CARES Act that you should be aware of: Cash Gifts – Individuals may deduct $300 above-the-line. This charitable deduction enables a...

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Nonprofits Can Survive and Thrive

Nonprofits Can Survive and Thrive

Our hearts and prayers go out to all who are suffering due to the Coronavirus. This is a challenging time for all Americans. Millions are under lockdown orders to reduce the risk of community spread of the virus.The future for nonprofits will be much more virtual. Nonprofits should use eMarketing...

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Who Are Your Best Email Prospects?

Who Are Your Best Email Prospects?

Do you notice when you send out your emails that you receive quite a few bounced emails? Are your open and click-through rates minimal? Is your list filled with thousands of names of people that are not warm to your organization and have little to no connection with your organization? It sounds like...

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Think Before You Thank

Think Before You Thank

This past summer I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful country of Ireland. When my girlfriends invited me to join them for a portion of their European vacation, I leapt at the invitation. My friends were too busy backpacking Europe to have time to plan the details for Ireland, so I willingly...

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10 Tips for Writing a Successful Donor Story

10 Tips for Writing a Successful Donor Story

Over the years, Crescendo's marketing staff has read thousands of donor stories. As a result, we have seen great examples that work to motivate others to give. Sometimes we are asked, "How do you write a donor story that works?"A donor story should inspire others who may be considering making a...

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Keeping Your Data and Information Safe

Keeping Your Data and Information Safe

It is unfortunate, but we live in a world where data and security breaches have become more common than we would like. It seems that every couple of months there is news about a large retail chain that has been hacked and is now asking their users to log in and reset their passwords. If one is...

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Create Champions by Building Community

Create Champions by Building Community

Have you ever been surprised by a large bequest? A school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the recipient of such a testamentary gift when they received a multi-million dollar bequest from a man who, by all outward appearances, seemed to be of modest means.While some bequests may come as a surprise,...

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New Blog, New Giving Opportunities for 2020

New Blog, New Giving Opportunities for 2020

Crescendo has launched a new blog!  The Crescendo Blog will feature a number of writers on topics that include planned gifts and major gifts marketing, technology, donor motivation, stewardship and giving trends. Crescendo would like to hear from you!  If you have thoughts or comments,...

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