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Inspiring Your Donors about IRA Gifts

Your donors have meaningful connections to your nonprofit mission and want to make a difference.  Are you ready to help them give in easy ways?  Has your organization marketed IRA Charitable Rollover gifts, also termed QCDs – qualified charitable distributions?

The IRA Charitable Rollover is easily segmented for your constituents who are at least 70½ years old.  Even without having access to the ages of your donors and prospects, you can market broadly and receive IRA Rollover results.

How are philanthropy leaders engaging in IRA Rollover mini-campaigns?  Crescendo decided to find out!  Our 2021 survey was distributed to one thousand nonprofit gift planners with questions related to their IRA marketing campaigns and results.  Our survey goal was to affirm that nonprofits are using IRA Charitable Rollover marketing and have found it to be a valuable campaign.  Over 350 gift planners responded.

Survey question one asked if their organization has conducted an IRA Rollover campaign in the last three years.  Over 51% of the nonprofits responded that they had conducted an IRA Charitable Rollover campaign in the last three years. One gift planner responded on this survey with these wise words, “Our campaign was not so much just a singular effort but was included in every conversation and presentation as a way to increase generosity.”

Survey questions two asked, “Did you use print marketing for your IRA Rollover campaign?”  The response was that 47.8% used print for marketing the Rollover opportunity.  One gift planner shared that they included IRA Rollover ads in their nonprofit newspaper.  Another stated they promote them in their newsletters.  An additional gift planner shared on their postcard they “featured a donor couple, who routinely make their gifts through their IRA RMDs.”

The survey’s third question was, “Did you use electronic marketing (email, social media, etc.) for your IRA Rollover campaign?”  Over 51% of the gift planners responded that they used electronic marketing in their IRA Rollover campaigns.  Hearing from one survey responder, “This needs to be promoted regularly to get the word out.  The need for frequent marketing touches necessitates implementing electronic options.  Adding print is ideal for an integrated approach.”

Survey question four targeted their results. We asked if their organization received IRA Charitable Rollover gifts from the campaign.  Almost 65% of the nonprofit leaders affirmed their campaign resulted in rollover gifts.  One gift planner commented on their organization’s IRA Charitable Rollover initiative, “More donors are thinking of our organization since we have marketed.” Another comment, “We are trying to build our marketing, slowly but consistently. Just this week we received a $100,000 IRA [charitable] rollover gift.”

The final survey question asked if the organization’s IRA charitable Rollover gift totals increased year by year. Over 61% of the responders said, “Yes.”  One gift planner shared, “QCDs are increasing every year and I need to spend more time marketing them.”  Another stated, “During Covid, the amounts increased.”

Are you now asking yourself how are you marketing and closing IRA Charitable Rollovers (QCDs)?  Case studies reveal realities and results.

Case Study #1:  Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

Nicola Lawrence, Director, Legacy and Gift Planning at Children’s Medical shared their information about their IRA Rollover mini-campaigns and return on investment (ROI).

In 2018, Children’s sent their branded IRA Rollover buckslip insert with an engaging image of a child.  This insert was tucked in their gift receipts to every donor over 70½. Nicola also said, “We included our insert in a letter to every donor in our portfolio who was over 70½. We marketed this piece digitally using email. In 2019, we used an eblast electronic postcard. Our ROI was outstanding! The buckslip insert budget for print and design was minimal – less than $200.”   Integrating print and electronic marketing reaches your constituents generating positive results.

Nicola’s results from FY 2018 to 2019 numbers testify to the impact of an intentional marketing plan.  Their fiscal year 2018 ROI was almost $40,000. That fiscal year concluding in 2019 totaled almost $318,000 all of which came in from their six week IRA Rollover campaign.  Their IRA charitable rollover six week campaign increased their rollover total by 156%!  Planned campaigns with ROI in mind work!

Case Study #2:  Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Amy Albritton Grant, JD, Baylor University’s Assistant Vice President for Gift Planning, shared their inspirational IRA Rollover campaign marketing and results.

Baylor’s IRA Charitable Rollover marketing began in fiscal year 2016 with Baylor’s intentional outreach to educate their alumni and friends about this opportunity to support their mission.  Their marketing from that year onward has been wrapped in impressive results.  That first FY 2016-2017 results from their marketing totaled 53 gifts for an ROI of $870,413.64.

In October of fiscal year 2018-2019 Baylor’s gift planning team communicated electronically the IRA Charitable Rollover opportunity.  In March and May of that fiscal year a Baylor branded oversized postcard, “Reduce Your Tax Burden Even if You Don’t Itemize,” was mailed to alumni and friends.  Also, May 2019 an email reminder of the IRA Charitable Rollover was sent.  Marketing with a printed postcard followed by an e-postcard is a best practice and yields results.

For the following fiscal year 2019-2020 in October and March, they created an eblast with a campus image, “Your Gifts Make a Difference.  Explore an IRA Charitable Rollover Gift Today.”   This eblast had links to their Rollover website resources.   Pictures of their gift planning leaders with their contact information added a personal connection to this e-communication.

Baylor’s IRA charitable rollover results illustrate the value of an integrated marketing initiative and consistency.

Baylor’s IRA Charitable Rollovers all-time grand total equaled $16,001,105.30!

The IRA Charitable Rollover is a valuable potential resource for your organization.  Don’t miss out! Share with us your IRA Charitable Rollover (QCD) experiences.  We would like to hear from you!

Sandra Henningsen

By Sandra Henningsen
Assistant Vice President, Integrated Marketing, Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

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