Another myth about donors smashed by facts

Here’s some good news, from Michael Rosen Says: Breaking News: Big Planned Giving Myth Busted!.

Many organizations believe that when a donor makes a planned giving commitment, you should “leave them alone” — they’ve their bit, and they’re all tapped out. If you ask them for a normal gift, something awful will happen.

A study found otherwise.


  • Average annual charitable giving before an estate gift commitment: $4,210.
  • Average annual charitable giving after a commitment: $7,381.

That’s right: giving went up after the planned giving commitment. The donors became more involved,

While making a planned gift commitment does not necessarily cause one to increase his or her annual giving to charities, the longitudinal evidence now reveals that it most definitely does not cause donors to decrease their annual charitable support.

This finding demonstrates a wonderful general truth about fundraising: More commitment leads to more commitment.

Donor involvement is not a zero-sum game. It’s nearly always a virtuous circle. The more involved and active they are, the more they want to be so. The time a donor is most likely to give is soon after she’s given. Donor retention and long-value both increase for those who volunteer, participate in an event, take an advocacy action — pretty much anything. Including a planned giving commitment.

Because doing good things for good causes feels good.

If you’re backing away from donors when they’re moving toward you, you’re out of step! That’s the wrong way to behave in real relationships — and it’s an expensive mistake to make with donors.


Comments

2 responses to “Another myth about donors smashed by facts”

  1. Jeff, thank you for mentioning my blog and for sharing the exciting news. For those of us who believed this was the case all along (that planned giving does not sacrifice current giving), it’s nice to have concrete evidence.

  2. Jeff, thank you for mentioning my blog and for sharing the exciting news. For those of us who believed this was the case all along (that planned giving does not sacrifice current giving), it’s nice to have concrete evidence.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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