Believe it or not, we’re past the halfway point to this year. As we continue to advance our missions in the months ahead, there are a few key tips for your planned giving strategy that will set you up for success in 2024.
Before we get swept up in year-end campaigns and Giving Tuesday efforts, take a moment to check in with these simple ideas.
Make it Mobile-Friendly
According to new research from RKD Group, 80 percent of nonprofits offer visitors to their websites a “poor experience” on mobile devices.
As a younger demographic of donors evolves, the need for mobile-friendly websites for nonprofits will only increase. If you want your organization to be seen, understood, and interacted with, easy navigation on a mobile device must be part of your planned giving strategy.
Take an inventory of every digital product to make sure it is smartphone-friendly. Everything from your e-newsletter provider to the organization’s website, the payment processor used for online donations to the accessibility functions available for all users has the opportunity to be optimized.
While you are assessing your web tools, take a closer look at the organization’s overall website too. The above study identified an even greater percentage, 86 percent, of desktop websites that needed improvement in performance.
Recommit to Major Gifts Basics
The most recent Giving USA report shows an overall decrease of about 10 percent in individual giving, when adjusted for inflation. Another trend from this report shows fewer donors are giving larger gifts.
These two pieces of data may inspire nonprofits to take a deeper dive into their major gift programs, or establish a fresh approach.
Evaluate every step of your major gift process to see if it can be improved or even refreshed. Use the donor cultivation cycle to organize the distinct phases of your major gift strategy, from identification, solicitation, and stewardship.
Narrow in on the individual activities within each stage of your planned giving strategy. Is it time to change up the thank-you card? Can you add some donor benefits to the giving levels to generate excitement in your major donor society? Can you offer an online free will planner to get donors more engaged? Whatever you choose, make sure it is feasible for you and your team to deliver on the promise to these influential major donors.
If you do not have a formalized major gift strategy, now is the time to devote energy to developing a feasible program. These donors are increasingly becoming a wiser place to spend the majority of your efforts.
Get More Specific
Take a moment to evaluate your organization’s mission and vision statement. These phrases are prominent on most nonprofit’s website and are included at the beginning of almost every single grant application. How long has it been since they were refreshed?
By taking the time to hone these fundamental aspects of your organization, it can promote a greater focus and understanding among board members, staff, and key volunteers. Make the development of these statements a group activity, bringing in diverse perspectives. You never know what you may discover about the work you do every day!
The mission and vision statement should be regularly evaluated. The mission statement needs to reflect the realistic work you are achieving in your community. Has the organization’s aims shifted? Be sure the mission statement is accurate for who you are today.
The vision statement, by its very nature, must also be updated frequently. A nonprofit’s vision will change as goals are reached and the needs of its community changes. Maintain an aspirational vision statement to achieve the true purpose of this nonprofit tool.
By focusing on these three practical steps and adjusting your planned giving strategy, you’ll help to ensure your nonprofit’s success before, during and after the busy year-end season. Take a moment to evaluate the effectiveness of your desktop and mobile site and double-check the accuracy and aspiration within your mission and vision statement. Before those major gifts start to roll in come December, make sure the program has solid systems in place and promises you can keep to these influential donors.