Your Donors Are OnlineNot only are your prospects and donors online, but they’re savvy online. Now is the time to meet them there. They are researching. Investing. And their numbers are growing. If you don’t have a compelling planned giving web presence, you simply do not exist.
The Great Wealth TransferAnd yes, you’re missing out on the great wealth transfer. When it comes to your planned giving online presence, remember the motto, “don’t make me think!” Your website should be donor-friendly and easy to understand. Otherwise, you’ll lose your audience. Other factors you should consider:
- Keep your website visual. Only 15% of people are “literal;” the rest are visual. Make sure to keep your gift descriptions illustrative, use drawings, videos, have many callouts (blurbs pulled from the main text, set off in larger type or boxed for emphasis), keep paragraphs short and have plenty of breaks. Your copy should be web-centric rather than traditionally print-based. If you use extensive gift descriptions, turn them into options to be clicked through.
- Incorporate interactive tools. Such tools (calculators, etc.) make your website sticky by keeping your prospects busy on your website playing around… and playing around creates a bond with your institution. Why do you think large corporate websites offer plenty of surveys? Because in addition to gathering data, surveys keep customers from leaving the website by playing around, and thus create a bond between the customer and the business product.
- Illustrate donors, and “story-tell” why they gave. Donor stories can create second-time gifts and motivate others to give. Don’t expect all your prospects to read massive planned giving content – present them with compelling stories about why their peers gave, as well as how. Donor stories not only give your prospects people to identify with, they also give you the chance to be warm and fuzzy. A client of ours has a photo of three donors online: two older women and a man holding a football. When you click through, you see their photo from 1949 cheerleading at a football game when they were young. Talk about creativity! Here are four ways to maximize a donor story (with a link to a questionnaire you can use).
- Make your mission and vision clear on page 1! Then let your prospects know how easy it is to support your institution.
- Make it easy for your prospect to contact you. We can’t tell you how many planned giving pages we’ve visited where you really have to dig deep to find contact information … or can’t find it at all! Think about the prospects who would pick up the phone and call you on the spot … if they could only find a name and a phone number to call. Not everyone wants to submit a contact form … don’t leave your prospect with the message “Don’t call us, we’ll call you!”
- Place your photo, and possibly your bio, online. Your prospects will like to see who they are talking to. Are you a one-person shop? Get creative. If you’re the only fundraiser at an animal shelter, have a photo of Chloe (the cute little Yorkie) as your administrative assistant — and give her a phone number and an email address as well! It’s good to be corny; it motivates prospects to call. You can even place her on your 404 Error – Page Not Found so the “page not found” does not really look like a bad mistake.