When donors are questioned as to why they don’t put a gift to their favorite charity in their will, they often say, “I didn’t think about it!”
Hey, Mr. or Ms. Development Pro, that’s part of your job, isn’t it? What’s that you say? You never thought of it that way? Interesting, and, I suppose, understandable. You’ve got a lot to do and it can take a back seat to other things.
Just to be clear, though, it is part of your job (maybe even a big part) to get your donors to be thinking about leaving a bequest.
And the best, most widely successful way of doing that is simply to mail your prospects a letter once a year or so in which you remind them that they can really be a difference maker by the addition of a gift in their will.
The assumption I make in this blog is that you already know who your best bequest prospects are. Just in case I assume too much, they are the donors right there in your database who already are faithfully giving to your organization.
They’re the ones who give you larger than average gifts year after year, but don’t necessarily demand much of your time.
In a sense, they’re sort of invisible. They aren’t yet on the radar of major gifts, much less planned giving, and they’re not overly interested in sitting down with you for tea and crumpets, either.
So, altogether now. If you want to plant the seed for planned giving through a prospect’s will. Mention it to them once in a while.