May is Older Americans Month
(Just how many are there?)
In 2017 I discovered a statistic that I believe should be on the minds of all fundraisers, particularly those seeking planned gifts. The Census Bureau projects that by:
2029 there will be 61.1M Baby Boomers
It so happens that according to this article, Just How Many Baby Boomers Are There?
2029 is the year that the youngest Baby Boomers turn 65
Oh, and it’s important to note that 20% of women age 51-56 never had children of their own.
What’s a fundraiser to do with this information?
1. Start marketing planned gifts!
But what to do, how? Check out the work of Dr. Russel James in Words that Work II: The Phrases that Encourage Planned Giving(published by marketsmart). In case you don’t know him, Dr. James is a former planned giving officer and college president who is now a professor at Texas Tech who teaches about and researches planned giving.
In Words that Work II Dr. James speaks about words and phrases that might strike a positive cord when marketing planned gifts. I thank Dr. James for this quote:
“Planned giving decision making is all about your supporters’ life stories and how your organization’s mission entwines with them.”
2. Consider hosting a legacy letter writing workshop.
I believe that inviting planned giving prospects to engage in writing a legacy letter or statement can help them hone in on the people and values that matter most. That information can then be used by the prospective donor to give deeper thought to their philanthropic legacy.
Imagine a prospective donor sharing their legacy letter or statement, or talking with you about who and what matters most to them. You not only have a more meaningful conversation, you can then help the prospective donor consider a planned gift that will honor the people and/or the values that they donor hold dear. Want to know more? Contact me here.
FYI legacy letter or statement writing can also serve as a terrific stewardship tool. Imagine your legacy society members writing about their legacies and how those legacies tie to the gift that they made to your nonprofit. If you have permission from some or all of these donors you could share that legacy statement with future recipients of funding from the donor’s endowed fund (some universities do this, why not your nonprofit?).
3. If you are just launching or want to bolster your focus on planned giving:
· Look at the current age ranges of your most loyal donors (10+ years of giving, no matter what size the gift),
· Identify the Baby Boomers, and
· Contact them to ask if they have consider making a planned gift.
FYI planned gift marketing does not have to be complicated. Why? The number one planned gift is still a gift made via a will. You could easily begin marketing by adding these two lines to your annual appeal reply card or envelope:
___ I have included (YOUR NPO) in my will.
___ Please send me information about ways to include (YOUR NPO) in my will.
In case you want to step up marketing, various vendors can provide assistance: plannedgiving.com,