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Social Media Marketing for Planned Gifts

It seems like every day a new social media platform is rising in popularity. As a marketer, keeping up with the new trends, platforms and potential content strategies can be tough. However, new and popular does not necessarily equate to the best strategy for planned gifts.

Oftentimes, those who work in planned giving do not have the bandwidth to plan content for eight different social media channels, let alone create the content for them. You do not have to post on every channel or follow every trend. Instead, figure out where your audience is and focus on the most used platforms.

Which Social Media Platform is Right for Gift Planners?

In the world of gift planning, the majority of your donors and potential donors tend to be in the 50 and older age category. The top two platforms for this age range are Facebook and LinkedIn. According to the Pew Research Center, about 60% of individuals between the ages of 50 to 64 use Facebook. Those who are 65 and older use Facebook slightly less frequently at a rate of about 45%. Linkedin usage comes out to about 24% and 13% respectively.

If you want to create content for one platform, Facebook would be your top choice. However, there may be some exceptions depending on the industry of your organization. It is important to do some research before diving into your social media marketing strategy. Try sending out a survey to your constituents, placing phone calls or sending emails to get an idea of which social media platform your audience prefers.

Content Ideas for Planned Giving

Now that you know which platform(s) to use, next comes the more challenging part: creating engaging content. In order to attract potential donors, you have to invest in creating content that is engaging. All of your content should be relatable to your donors. The language and imagery you use should evoke an emotional reaction that conveys impact. If a donor can visualize themselves as making a difference through your organization, then your work has paid off!

Video is Powerful

Video is currently the most engaging and popular form of content. If you can hire someone to produce professional videos, great. If not, no worries. Most smartphones contain a high quality camera. Consider making “homemade” videos that feature you, your staff, previous donors or daily life at your organization. Ask previous donors to allow you to record a quick video with an explanation of the comfort they feel in having set up a gift with your organization. Capture your staff celebrating a co-worker’s birthday. These days, you may not be celebrating in person, but how about recording your Zoom meeting as everyone sings happy birthday to a valuable staff member? Your ideas may not directly tie to planned giving, but it gives your potential donors an inside look at your organization and your team. It gives them a behind-the-scenes view of who they will be supporting. As long as the video shares content that is relatable and sentimental, your audience should connect. Connection is key to starting a relationship with potential donors.

For the Camera Shy

Not everyone feels comfortable getting in front of a camera, make sure you have the consent of anyone you capture on video or in pictures. You can also use the power of the written word! Celebrate and recognize your supporters by sharing your donor stories and testimonials. Pull from quotes that really emphasize the impact that your organization is making through the help of your generous donors. Give as much transparency as possible. People love to see authentic stories, especially when they have reached an age in which leaving a legacy becomes more and more important to them.


You can also reach out to relevant “influencers” in your industry. Collaborate with them on unique content that they will share with their own audience. Your influencers might be doctors, professors or spiritual leaders. They may also be from other groups or organizations with a similar mission to yours. Whoever they are, one thing is certain, they are also looking for exposure. A collaboration benefits both your organization and the influencer.

User Generated Content (UGC)

Social media algorithms tend to reward content that is shared and tagged. Why? Because this type of content is seen more often by more people. When you share content that your donors create, you are likely to see more engagement. Plus, it saves you time from having to create the content yourself.

UGC tends to be relatable and has an authentic feel. Remember to always keep an eye out for UGC that you can potentially use. This could be a personal story sharing some good news, a blog post about planned giving or photos from a recent event you held. Make sure you check that the UGC is a public post before clicking that share button. You may also want to reach out to your donors and find out if they already have content you can use.

Social media is a platform that many planned giving officers and marketers use in hopes that it will lead to donor engagement and action. But it is important to remember that, at the core of it, social media is meant to be social. Posting content is important, however, interacting with your audience is even more important. Set aside some time to reply in comments, send messages and join groups. Not only will you be connecting with others, but you will also be drawing people to your page every time they see your interactions.

Most importantly, remember to have fun with social media. People turn to social media for entertainment and a break from their busy, stressful lives. Why not be a positive source of inspiration for them? Tell us about your social media strategies in the comments, we would love to hear your success stories!

By Shani Leead
Integrated Marketing Coordinator

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