PG Calc Blog

The latest on planned giving from PG Calc.
Read our posts for comments on the latest topics and issues in planned giving. We hope you find our posts timely and interesting, and we hope you'll share your perspective with us!

The Importance of Your Brand

The Importance of Your Brand

Joshua Bell released a new Bach recording recently, which had me a bit perplexed. There is nothing new about Bach. Why would anyone want to buy this CD, since there are so many Bach recordings already in existence? But Bell has his own “brand,” and people will buy this recording just because he has a following and his interpretation of Bach’s music is sure to be different from his peers.

The Scent of Conversion

The Scent of Conversion

The latest trend in planned giving communications is something called “donor-focused design,” an approach that places the donor at the center of the design process. The concept is based on the presumption that an organization’s communications will be more effective and will resonate more with donors if they reflect the needs, objectives, and in particular, language of those donors.  Interestingly, this concept is completely in line with a philosophy of website design that the best practitioners have followed for some time. The most effective websites are designed using the results of research into user experience (UX), including areas such as eye scanning, and information tracking. As early as 2001, research done by Dr. Ed Chi, who at the time was Principal Scientist for Augmented Social Cognition, as well as others at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), indicated that humans track information in a fashion similar to the way that animals follow a scent.                                         People... engage in what [Dr. Ed Chi] calls ‘hub-and-spoke’ surfing: They begin at the center, and they follow a trail based on its information scent.... If the scent is sufficiently strong, the surfer will continue to go on that trail. But if the trail is weak, they go back to the hub. ‘People repeat this process until they're satisfied,’ Chi said.                                     

Where's Your "Why?" - Simple Rule for Planned Giving Marketing

Where's Your

Karen Osborne conducted a webinar for PG Calc on Strategic Storytelling and its role in planned giving marketing in April. Some of you may have attended it, but for those who didn’t here’s something to consider. Citing inspiration from a Simon Sinek TED talk, she stated, “your ‘why’ story has to come before what you do and how you do it. What societal problems are you solving? What impact have past investments made? What do you envision going forward?” It’s easier to tell the “why” story in person, but smart planned giving marketing messages should tell the “why” story as well. Your planned giving communications should include the following:

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