Marketing planned gifts: Part 4

By Todd Cohen

The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati uses a broad range of tactics as part of a single game plan for marketing planned giving, says Jim Friedman, director of planned giving and endowments.

“There is basically only one strategy, to engage donors in meaningful conversations that eventually lead to a gift,” he says. “All the rest is commentary.”

Marketing vehicles used by the federation, which has $34 million in permanent endowment funds, another $6 million in donor-advised funds, and an estimated $12 million to $15 million more in deferred gifts it knows about, range from articles in the local weekly Jewish newspaper to direct-mail appeals.

In December, for example, the weekly American Israelite featured a story on the impact that year-end planning could have on reducing taxes due this April.

The federation works with a planned-giving committee of professional advisers and volunteer lay leaders, most of whom have made planned gifts themselves and can “open the door” to other prospects, Friedman says.

It also distributes a quarterly newsletter and weekly email newsletter on planned giving to professional advisers, and this year will begin including planned-giving promotions in a variety of other materials, including pledge cards for the federation’s annual fund drive, reminders that pledges are due, and quarterly statements for donor-advised funds.

The federation also is preparing planned-giving materials for its web site, holds an annual dinner for its Legacy Society, recognizing donors who have made a planned-giving commitment of $100,000 or more, and has launched a series of seminars for donors, including one this winter in West Palm Beach, Fla, for local residents vacationing there.

Other stories in the series:

Part 1: Charities target donors in increasingly competitive market. 
Part 2: Charities tailor planned-giving message, medium.  
Part 3: Fundraisers segment planned-giving prospects.
Part 5: Online strategies integrate donor data, marketing.
Part 6: Colleges, community foundations court planned-giving prospects.
Part 7: Charities use events to reach and engage donors, advisers.

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