NCPP 2017 Marketing Nuggets

ncpp_2016.pngHaving just returned from the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning, I thought it would be timely to share a few marketing takeaways. While there is nothing revolutionary to report, it’s always nice to talk with colleagues about their marketing successes and challenges. Here’s what I gleaned from the sessions I attended.

Grandparents are on Facebook: Social Media's Impact on Planned Giving

The Humane Society of United States presented a case study describing their use of social media for planned giving. They are promoting their planned giving program through Facebook advertisements, in addition to the more traditional channels of print and email. Facebook advertising can be very effective, and is one of the primary ways to use social media for planned giving. The Humane Society defines their success by the number of leads generated, and the traffic to their website – and by these standards the campaign has been quite successful. The conversion of leads to closed gifts was not discussed in detail. However, the Humane Society found that a healthy marketing budget and Facebook ads integrated with the rest of their campaign produced the strongest results. And how do they evaluate the effectiveness of their campaign? They look at the entire campaign – not how each individual channel performed - something we recommend time and time again.

One very interesting fact also came out of this presentation – and that’s the use of mobile/tablet devices. Seniors are increasingly going this route as they age, which may seem counterintuitive when you think of the vision loss many seniors experience. The reason has to do with loss of hearing. These devices allow seniors to use text messaging to communicate. When they do talk on the phone, seniors tend to prefer FaceTime. Mobile-friendly marketing is definitely on the rise with seniors, and this could be one reason why.

Matures to Boomers: What Planned Giving Professionals Need to Know

Here are some basic statistics that were discussed from the 2017 Natural Marketing Institute's Healthy Aging Database® study. How do these facts correlate with your marketing efforts?

Similarities between Matures (born 1900 – 1945) and Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)

  • Both recognize the importance of donating to charity
  • No significant difference in percentage of those who left a gift to a nonprofit in their will
  • Both give for emotional reasons
  • 1 in 3 are using Internet to research charities
  • Both fear running out of money in retirement
  • 7 out of 10 in both generations prefer to give to local charities
  • Both are more interested in doing an honor or tribute gift than any other gift type

Differences between Matures and Boomers

  • Boomers are more likely to give to healthcare and medical organizations
  • Over 1 in 3 Matures are very satisfied with their savings, but less than 1 in 5 Boomers are
  • More Matures have wills
  • Boomers are more interested in CGAs and CRTs than Matures

Noteworthy Messaging Mentions

  • Less content on website is more effective
  • Donors prefer impact stories to donor stories in newsletters – illustrate the impact of a donor’s gift
  • Use personalization and variable data in CGA mailings and pre-populate reply cards, for example, to increase response rates
  • Promote gifts that won’t draw on current cash – suggests the importance of peace of mind
  • Boomers prefer visuals to see how money will be used – use infographics and show timeline of impact

Integrating Planned Giving Video at Your Level of Budget and Expertise

Lastly, while I didn’t attend this session, a colleague did. MiniMatters, the company that conducted this session, highlighted the following points:

  • Your organization can create testimonials, donor stories, impact stories, and donor visits, using “DIY” filming
  • What you do with your videos is important to your success with engaging donors
  • Use storytelling and video to build bridges with other fundraising areas and organizational departments
  • Storytelling and video can enhance donor stewardship

The most important point made was that we don’t need to hire professionals to produce videos with our donors. While using professionals may be policy for some organizations, if it’s not, DIY video is definitely worth exploring. Our smartphones have such great video capability, there is no reason a gift officer can’t film a donor interview, or record snippets of one. You can also use audio much more than is done today to make sites more engaging for your visitors. Video and audio have great potential for improving your marketing campaigns.