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Start 2021 with a Strong Planned Gifts Marketing Plan

All of us can reflect on 2020 and develop new goals to help us continue to make progress in the new year. A great way to start is by creating a strong planned gifts marketing plan to increase your visibility. Here are some steps to help you get started:

Marketing Approach

The first step is to determine an approach for your marketing plan. Here are a few questions to consider: Are you working alone or with a team? How much time can you allocate to your planned gifts marketing efforts? Do you want to focus your marketing on a different gift model monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually? What is your budget for direct mailings and how often are you able to send them out?

Gift Models

After you have determined your approach, you should select the planned giving vehicles of focus. For example, you could start the year by offering a custom Estate Planning Guide and continue promoting bequests through the spring. You may also run an IRA Rollover marketing campaign at the end of the year. It is also important to target the proper audiences for each of your topics and segment your lists accordingly. In your bequest marketing, you may want to target certain groups of alumni, loyal donors age 55 and older, retired faculty or staff and board members and IRA Rollover gifts for donors age 70½ and older.

Marketing Materials

It is widely recommended to use a multi-channel marketing approach including print, email and social media to reinforce your marketing message. Using branded materials with your custom images and mission will help donors connect to your cause. Make sure to make necessary content updates so that it is specific to your organization and donors you are reaching. Create social media posts that educate, inspire and motivate your donors to give.

If you have the budget for print mailings, consider sending an extended postcard or letter with a brochure of each gift model. Exercise an integrated marketing approach by following-up with an email blast and social media post that includes the same messaging and imagery. You can also utilize your organization’s existing marketing materials to feature planned giving, such as including it in an enewsletter or printed magazine.


Once you have decided on your approach, the gift models you wish to focus on and associated marketing materials, I recommend creating a calendar to help you stay on track. Start by selecting the months for your various action items. Schedule a time each month that works best for you and your team.

Mid-size to larger nonprofits should coordinate with the organization’s master marketing schedule. If time allows, I recommend monthly social media posts to engage with your followers. I also suggest creating multiple points of contact by following up your direct mail items with an email one to two weeks after the mailing.

I hope these tips inspire you to move forward this year with your planned gifts marketing efforts. Please know that we are here to support you. Wishing you all a happy and healthy year!

Kiley Hechler

By Kiley Hechler
Legacy Campaign Specialist, Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

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