Get a Free Halloween Treat for Fundraisers

If you’re like most fundraising professionals, you’re not optimally asking donors to include your nonprofit organization in their will.

You’re probably not driving as much traffic to your planned giving webpage as you could.

You’re also probably less successful at closing Charitable Gift Annuities than you could be.

lone-ranger-and-silver-via-melocuentas-flickr

The Lone Ranger and Silver.

I know. You decided to read this post to discover how you can get a free Halloween treat. Instead, you’re probably starting to feel tricked. But, fear not! Russell James, JD, PhD, CFP, the Texas Tech University professor and philanthropy researcher, along with the good folks at MarketSmart, are riding in to save the day.

Last summer, James conducted a webinar hosted by MarketSmart. During his presentation, James unveiled his latest, powerful research findings along with research insights from others. You can learn more about the webinar and get some great tips by clicking here.

Now, for your treat, MarketSmart has distilled James’ webinar into a free, 22-page e-book that will help you raise millions of dollars more. For example, here’s just one simple, yet valuable tip:

When you want to engage people in a conversation about Charitable Gift Annuities, what is the best way to describe this giving vehicle to make folks want to learn more?

James tested five phrases. Among the 2,550 respondents, he discovered the percentage interested in learning more:

Charitable gift annuities

5 percent

Life income gifts

9 percent

Get a tax deduction and make a gift that pays you income for life

26 percent

Gifts that pay you income for life

28 percent

Gifts that pay you income

29 percent

In other words, the least effective way to spark interest in Charitable Gift Annuities is to refer to them as “Charitable Gift Annuities”! The best way to communicate with donors is to skip the legalese and jargon. Instead, tell donors in simple terms what the gift is and how they will benefit.

If you’re worried that a phrase such as “Gifts that pay you income,” while sparking interest, might ultimately be perceived as misleading, I’m happy to report there’s no need for concern. James also tested the five phrases to see if respondents got what they expected once they engaged. The phrase “Charitable Gift Annuities” once again finished dead last with just 15 percent saying they got what they expected. By contrast, 30 percent said their expectations were met with “Gifts that pay you income.”

Simple, direct, jargon-free language wins.

For additional practical tips that will help you raise significantly more planned gifts, download a real treat, the free e-book Words that Work II: The Phrases that Encourage Planned Giving by clicking here.

Happy Halloween!

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

mli-word-audit

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