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GuideStar Blog

Larry Stelter

Recent Posts by Larry Stelter:

Raising Planned Gifts by Mail

Excerpt from How to Raise Planned Gifts by Mail

Despite the lack of confidence we sometimes feel about direct mail's efficacy, the fact remains—it works. Maybe one day this will change—perhaps the Internet will come into its own as a fundraising medium. But for now, raising planned gifts by mail is a solid and revenue-producing strategy.

However, unlike holiday greetings and change of address notifications, your planned giving mailings can't be showered on the general population. Direct marketers often cite the 60-30-10 formula for determining a mailing's success.

Sixty percent depends on the quality of the mail list; 30 percent is based on the content of the appeal; and 10 percent can be attributed to the design or format. Since marketing dollars are precious and your board's expectations for results are high, don't dilute your efforts by mailing to anyone other than your best prospects.

Let's make it simple. Start by limiting your list to people who have met one basic criterion: Anyone who has made at least two gifts of any size to your organization (more about this in a minute).

Note some of the folks who will not make the cut: