Imitation Is the Greatest Form of Flattery

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I believe it was Pablo Picasso who said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Many other writers and composers have been quoted saying something similar. Great ideas are never born, they are just reinvented. This is true of most things, and marketing, especially for planned giving, is no exception. As soon as someone discovers a “new idea,” there is no reason not to imitate it to see if it will produce the desired results.

A few years back, one of our local hospitals started marketing gift planning through a campaign of postcards. The clear, concise message, great imagery, and “cuteness factor” took off. Word in the planned giving community spread, and the next thing you know, other organizations followed suit.


Postcard courtesy of Boston Children's Hospital

The new thing now is donor surveys. As organizations are seeing an increase in interest from donors, and more bequest intention notifications as a result of the donor survey initiatives, other organizations are trying it out for size.

Keep your eyes open, as the next big idea is probably already out there.  You just don’t know it yet. Those ideas always come in the least expected place.