The Stelter Company has reported on its recent survey research (phone survey targeting age 40+ donors) regarding planned giving.

Some findings from their report — What Makes Them Give? (registration required to download):

  • Fully 60% of ‘best prospects’ are age 40-54.
  • 20% of current planned givers say they had been donating to the nonprofit for less than five years at the time of their gift.
  • Another 21% say they had never donated to the charity before putting a planned gift in place.
  • Nearly 40 percent of current planned givers with a history of giving make annual donations of less than $500.
  • A minority of planned givers inform charities of their gift (40 percent).
  • A significant number of current planned givers (40 percent) say they made the decision on their own. The most common interaction reported was a conversation with a family member (25 percent).

Lack of previous engagement … not just the major donors … speed of action. Some counter-intuitive stuff here, no?

Using the survey data, the report offers an excellent discussion of donor stewardship, particularly with respect to donor communications.

Out of ten tested messages, which most resonates with planned givers? 66% want simply “to make the world a better place”.

Stelter’s top five recommendations …

  1. Increase communication to middle-aged supporters.
  2. Focus planned giving messages on a wider variety of donors.
  3. Harness the influence of family.
  4. Provide singles with more and better attention.
  5. Rethink legacy societies.

Worth a read.


This article was posted in: Communications, Nonprofit management, Planned giving / legacy marketing.
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