Every week presents another opportunity to hone my marketing skills doing something I find extremely difficult - writing. Whether for gift officers or donors, there is always an article or marketing communication beckoning to be created or revised. It's not easy for many reasons: finding the inspiration, determining the message and tone, reinventing new ways to say the same thing, but that is to be expected. Isn't that a marketer’s job?
After six years of drifting around in record-low territory, the Applicable Federal Rate, otherwise known as the IRS discount rate, has leaped upward 0.6% this month to 2.4%. That’s the highest the rate has been since mid-2014. The leap was a direct consequence of the Federal Reserve raising its target for the Fed Funds rate in mid-December. What’s more, the Fed has indicated it expects to raise the Fed Funds rate in increments three more times during 2017. That would portend further increases in the IRS discount rate over the next 12 months.
There are over 4.35 billion email accounts and it is predicted to reach 5.59 billion by 2019, a growth of more than 26%. Here are some other fun statistics on email: Over 122 billion (122,500,453,020) emails are sent every hour. The average number of emails an office worker receives each day is 121. The open rate for email in North America is 30.6%. The percentage of email that is spam is 49.7%. Email marketing is thriving throughout the non-profit and for-profit worlds. This includes the growing number of multi-generational mobile users who check email on their phones daily. Statistics like these have convinced many planned giving marketers that email is essential for donor lead generation.
Next year is going to be the year of life income gifts, or actually, it will probably be the next four years. When I read a recent New York Times headline, Plans for Uncertain Times: What do you still control?, I thought they had received a gift annuity mailing! It’s clear that this is a message that will be relevant for a long time.
It may seem like it will never end, but the Presidential campaign will soon be over. (Let us please not have a recount like Florida in 2000!) Polls are suggesting a presumptive winner. Nonetheless, the number of undecided voters are at record levels, which introduces unprecedented uncertainty into the election. With that caution in mind, let us compare what we know about the economic priorities of the two candidates with particular emphasis on how their plans would influence charitable giving.