A bequest donor goes silent on you — what now?

Here’s something that happens quite often: A long-time donor puts your organization in their will Yay!

Some years go by. The donor continues to donate.

Then she stops. She’s still around, but the donations stop.

What do you do?

Too many organizations do what they always do when donors lapse. After an attempt or two to reactivate, they radically cut back their communications. Or even stop entirely. Which is more or less what you should do with typical lapsed donors.

But when bequest donors, it’s a terrible mistake.

Because it’s very likely the donor hasn’t lapsed on purpose. It’s just that a change in her health and/or income and/or how her finances are being managed have changed. She still loves you and cares about your cause.

But your silence might tell her it’s over.

Here’s what to do, according to the Passionate Giving Blog, at What If My Older Donor Stops Giving, but They Tell Us They’ve Made a Planned Gift?

  • Develop a communication plan based on the donor’s passions and interests. Create one touch point per month that’s meaningful to the.
  • If you have a legacy society, make sure it’s actually doing something.
  • Invite the donor in to witness your mission first-hand, or take it to the donor by asking a program person to join you.
  • Keep in touch with their financial advisor, giving them updates on your programs as well.
  • Visit and check in on them if they would like you to.

This no-longer-giving bequest donor is still have huge value to you. Invest in the relationship!


Comments

2 responses to “A bequest donor goes silent on you — what now?”

  1. Jay Smith Avatar
    Jay Smith

    I cannot emphasize enough the value of keeping in touch with your legacy donors during a time such as today. Your legacy donors have demonstrated their support of your organization through a gift in their estate plan. All it takes is a simple phone call. When you contact them and share with them what your organization is doing to cope with COVID-19 you are saying that they are important and you appreciate them. This is especially critical to do with your senior donors.

  2. Jay Smith Avatar
    Jay Smith

    I cannot emphasize enough the value of keeping in touch with your legacy donors during a time such as today. Your legacy donors have demonstrated their support of your organization through a gift in their estate plan. All it takes is a simple phone call. When you contact them and share with them what your organization is doing to cope with COVID-19 you are saying that they are important and you appreciate them. This is especially critical to do with your senior donors.

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

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.