Email marketing has become an increasingly effective tool for nonprofits to engage with their supporters and encourage donations. However, promoting planned giving through email can be a daunting task, as it requires a delicate balance between effectively communicating the importance of leaving a lasting legacy and being sensitive to the recipient’s personal circumstances.

In this article, we will provide practical tips and examples for crafting a compelling email promoting planned giving. Whether you’re a seasoned nonprofit professional or new to the field, this guide will help you create effective email campaigns that inspire donors to make a meaningful impact for years to come.

Personalize your email

Personalizing your email is one of the most effective ways to engage with donors and encourage them to take action. Addressing the donor by name makes the email feel more personal and shows that you value their contribution to your organization. Using their previous donation history to create a tailored message that speaks to their individual interests and values demonstrates that you understand their support and are grateful for it.

By creating a tailored message that speaks to the donor’s individual interests and values, you can increase the likelihood of them making a planned gift. For example, if a donor has previously donated to your organization’s animal welfare program, you could include information about how a planned gift could help protect and care for animals in the future. This shows that you understand the donor’s passion for animal welfare and how their planned gift can make a meaningful impact.

Personalizing your email can also help to build stronger relationships with donors. By demonstrating that you understand their interests and values, you can create a deeper connection with them and make them feel more invested in your organization’s mission. This can lead to increased engagement, greater support, and a lasting legacy for your organization.

Keep it concise

When it comes to promoting planned giving through email, it’s important to keep your message concise and to the point. Donors are often inundated with emails, so it’s important to make sure your message is easy to read and quickly captures their attention. Your email should focus on the benefits of planned giving and make it clear how easy it is to leave a legacy through your organization.

By keeping your email concise, you can effectively communicate the key benefits of planned giving without overwhelming the reader with too much information. Focus on the impact their planned gift can make, such as providing scholarships for students or supporting medical research. Make sure to also emphasize the tax benefits of planned giving, which can be a major incentive for donors to make a planned gift.

It’s also important to make it clear how easy it is to make a planned gift through your organization. Provide clear instructions on how to get started and offer support throughout the process. You can also include links to resources, such as online calculators or informational videos, to help donors better understand the process and feel more confident about making a planned gift. By making the process as simple and straightforward as possible, you can encourage more donors to leave a lasting legacy through your organization.

Use a compelling subject line

The subject line of your email is the first thing a donor will see, and it can make or break whether they open the email or not. Therefore, it’s important to use a compelling subject line that grabs the reader’s attention and entices them to open the email. Make sure to also clearly indicate that the email is about planned giving, as this will ensure that donors who are interested in leaving a lasting legacy will be more likely to open the email.

One effective way to create a compelling subject line is to include a sense of urgency. For example, you could use phrases such as “Time is Running Out” or “Last Chance to Make a Difference” to create a sense of urgency and encourage action. This can be particularly effective if you are promoting a specific planned giving opportunity or if there is a deadline for making a planned gift.

Another way to create a compelling subject line is to use numbers or statistics to highlight the impact of planned giving. For example, you could use a subject line such as “How Your Planned Gift Can Provide Scholarships for 100 Students” or “Help Save 500 Lives with a Planned Gift”. This approach can be particularly effective for donors who are passionate about specific causes and want to see concrete results from their giving.

Use storytelling

Using storytelling is a powerful way to engage donors and demonstrate the impact of planned giving on your organization and its beneficiaries. By sharing compelling stories, you can make the reader feel connected to your mission and inspired to make a difference. Stories can also help to make planned giving more concrete and tangible, showing donors how their gift can make a meaningful impact.

When using storytelling to promote planned giving, it’s important to focus on the beneficiaries of your organization’s work. Share stories of how your organization has made a difference in people’s lives and how a planned gift can help ensure that this impact continues for years to come. You can also share stories of donors who have made planned gifts and how their generosity has made a lasting impact.

Make sure to also tie the story back to the donor’s own values and interests. For example, if a donor has previously donated to your organization’s education program, you could share a story of how a planned gift can provide scholarships for disadvantaged students. By making the story relevant to the donor’s interests, you can create a deeper connection and inspire them to take action. Overall, using storytelling can be a powerful way to engage donors and encourage them to leave a lasting legacy through your organization.

Provide clear instructions

Providing clear instructions is essential to encourage donors to take action and make a planned gift. Donors need to know exactly how to make a planned gift and what steps they need to take to ensure that their gift is properly executed. To make the process as easy as possible, provide clear instructions on how to make a planned gift, including the types of planned gifts your organization accepts.

It’s also important to provide contact information for your planned giving officer. This will enable donors to ask questions and get more information about the planned giving process. Your planned giving officer can also provide personalized guidance and support, helping donors feel more confident about making a planned gift.

Finally, include a link to your planned giving webpage. This will provide donors with more information about the planned giving options available and can help to answer any questions they may have. Your planned giving webpage should be easy to navigate and provide clear, concise information about how to make a planned gift. By providing clear instructions, contact information, and a link to your planned giving webpage, you can make it easy for donors to take action and leave a lasting legacy through your organization.

Be sensitive

While promoting planned giving is important, it’s crucial to be sensitive to the recipient’s personal circumstances. Making assumptions about their financial situation or using high-pressure tactics can make the donor feel uncomfortable and lead to a negative perception of your organization. Instead, focus on building relationships with donors based on trust and respect.

It’s important to remember that planned giving is a personal decision that should be made in the donor’s own time and according to their own wishes. Avoid using high-pressure tactics or making assumptions about their financial situation. Instead, provide information and support that enables donors to make an informed decision based on their own values and interests.

By being sensitive and respectful, you can build stronger relationships with donors and create a culture of trust and transparency. This can lead to increased support, greater engagement, and a lasting legacy for your organization. Ultimately, by focusing on building relationships with donors based on respect and sensitivity, you can create a culture of giving that inspires generosity and creates lasting impact.

Follow up

Following up with donors who express interest in planned giving is an important part of building relationships and encouraging support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to donors who have expressed interest in making a planned gift. A personal email or phone call can go a long way in demonstrating your organization’s commitment to supporting donors throughout the process.

When following up with donors, be sure to provide personalized guidance and support. Answer any questions they may have and provide additional resources and information to help them make an informed decision. You can also provide additional support, such as connecting donors with your planned giving officer or offering to provide more detailed information about the planned giving process.

Following up with donors can also help to strengthen relationships and build trust. By showing that you are committed to supporting donors and providing ongoing guidance and support, you can create a deeper connection and inspire greater generosity. Ultimately, by following up with donors who express interest in planned giving, you can create a culture of giving that inspires long-term support and creates lasting impact.

Example #1: Planned Giving with a Story

Subject: Make a lasting impact with planned giving and change a life, like Jane’s

Dear [Donor’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. As a valued supporter of [Nonprofit Organization’s Name], I wanted to take a moment to share a heartwarming story with you about how your donation can help to change a life, just like it did for Jane.

Jane was a young girl who lived in a small village in a developing country. Her parents couldn’t afford to send her to school, and so she spent her days working on the family farm. But one day, a generous donor like you decided to support [Nonprofit Organization’s Name]’s education programs in Jane’s community. Through this program, Jane was able to attend school and get an education that would change the course of her life.

With her education, Jane was able to pursue her dreams and become a teacher. She now helps to educate and inspire children in her community, just like she was once inspired by a donor who believed in her potential.

By considering planned giving to [Nonprofit Organization’s Name], you can help to create more stories like Jane’s. Your donation will help us to continue providing educational programs, resources, and support to those who need it most. It will ensure that we can continue to create positive change in the world and make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals and communities.

There are many ways to give through planned giving, including bequests, charitable gift annuities, and charitable remainder trusts. Each option provides unique benefits and can help you to achieve your financial and charitable goals. Our team is here to help you understand your options and to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for considering planned giving as a way to support [Nonprofit Organization’s Name]. We are honored to have you as a supporter, and we look forward to continuing to work together to make a difference and change lives, just like Jane’s.

Sincerely,

[Your Name] [Nonprofit Organization’s Name]

Example #2: Planned Giving Story Example

Subject: Change a life with planned giving, like John’s

Dear [Donor’s Name],

As a valued supporter of [Nonprofit Organization’s Name], I wanted to take a moment to share a heartwarming story with you about how your planned giving can help to change a life, just like it did for John.

John was a young man who had a passion for technology, but he didn’t have the means to pursue his dream. He lived in a low-income community and had limited access to technology and resources. But through a generous donor’s support of [Nonprofit Organization’s Name]’s technology program, John was able to attend workshops and classes to learn about coding, web development, and more.

With his newly acquired skills, John was able to start his own business and provide for himself and his family. He now employs others in his community and helps to inspire and empower others who, like him, may not have had the opportunity to pursue their passions without the support of donors like you.

By considering planned giving to [Nonprofit Organization’s Name], you can help to create more stories like John’s. Your donation will help us to continue providing programs, resources, and support to those who need it most. It will ensure that we can continue to create positive change in the world and make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals and communities.

There are many ways to give through planned giving, including bequests, charitable gift annuities, and charitable remainder trusts. Each option provides unique benefits and can help you to achieve your financial and charitable goals. Our team is here to help you understand your options and to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for considering planned giving as a way to support [Nonprofit Organization’s Name]. We are honored to have you as a supporter, and we look forward to continuing to work together to make a difference and change lives, just like John’s.

Sincerely,

[Your Name] [Nonprofit Organization’s Name]

Example #3: Planned Giving Details

Subject: Secure Your Legacy and Support [Nonprofit Organization]’s Future with Planned Giving

Dear [Donor’s Name],

I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. Your support of [Nonprofit Organization] over the years has made a significant difference in the lives of those we serve. Because of your generosity, we have been able to [briefly describe accomplishments or milestones achieved by the organization]. We are truly grateful for your ongoing commitment to our mission.

Today, I’d like to share an opportunity that allows you to further strengthen your impact and create a lasting legacy: planned giving. By including [Nonprofit Organization] in your estate plans, you can ensure that your values and commitment to [cause or mission] continue to make a difference for generations to come.

Planned giving is a powerful way to contribute to the long-term financial health and stability of our organization. It provides the resources we need to continue our vital work and expand our outreach. Some popular planned giving options include:

  1. Bequests: Designate [Nonprofit Organization] as a beneficiary in your will or living trust, which allows you to allocate a specific amount or percentage of your estate to support our mission.
  2. Life Insurance Policies: Name [Nonprofit Organization] as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy, turning a modest investment into a significant gift.
  3. Retirement Plans: Designate [Nonprofit Organization] as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plan, potentially providing tax benefits to your estate.
  4. Charitable Gift Annuities: Create a charitable gift annuity that provides you with a steady income stream during your lifetime, while supporting [Nonprofit Organization] with the remaining funds.

By choosing to include [Nonprofit Organization] in your estate plans, you become a member of our esteemed [Legacy Society Name], a group of forward-thinking supporters who have made a lasting commitment to our cause. As a member, you’ll receive special recognition in our annual report, invitations to exclusive events, and updates on the impact of your gift.

We recommend discussing your planned giving options with your financial or legal advisor to determine which approach best suits your unique situation. If you would like more information about planned giving or assistance in getting started, please feel free to reach out to our Planned Giving Specialist, [Specialist’s Name], at [email address] or [phone number].

Once again, thank you for your unwavering support of [Nonprofit Organization] and our mission to [reiterate cause or mission]. Your legacy of giving will continue to inspire and make a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve.

With gratitude,

[Your Name] [Your Title] [Nonprofit Organization]

Example #4: Planned Giving Email with Donor Quote

Subject: Make a Lasting Impact with Planned Giving: Join [Donor’s Name] and Others in Supporting [Nonprofit Organization]

Dear [Donor’s Name],

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying life’s many blessings. Your continued support of [Nonprofit Organization] has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of those we serve. Because of your generosity, we have achieved [briefly describe accomplishments or milestones], and our mission to [cause or mission] continues to thrive. We truly appreciate your unwavering commitment.

Today, I’d like to share an opportunity to further extend your impact and create a lasting legacy: planned giving. By including [Nonprofit Organization] in your estate plans, you can ensure that your values and commitment to [cause or mission] continue to resonate for generations to come.

One of our dedicated legacy donors, [Donor’s Name], recently shared their experience with planned giving:

“[Insert quote from the donor explaining why they chose to include the organization in their estate plans and how it has provided them with a sense of satisfaction and purpose in supporting the cause.]”

Planned giving is a powerful way to contribute to the long-term financial health and stability of our organization, providing the resources we need to continue our vital work and expand our outreach. Popular planned giving options include:

  1. Bequests: Designate [Nonprofit Organization] as a beneficiary in your will or living trust, allocating a specific amount or percentage of your estate to support our mission.
  2. Life Insurance Policies: Name [Nonprofit Organization] as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy, transforming a modest investment into a substantial gift.
  3. Retirement Plans: Designate [Nonprofit Organization] as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plan, potentially providing tax benefits to your estate.
  4. Charitable Gift Annuities: Establish a charitable gift annuity that offers you a steady income stream during your lifetime while supporting [Nonprofit Organization] with the remaining funds.

By choosing to include [Nonprofit Organization] in your estate plans, you become a member of our esteemed [Legacy Society Name], a group of visionary supporters who have made a lasting commitment to our cause. As a member, you’ll receive special recognition in our annual report, invitations to exclusive events, and updates on the impact of your gift.

We recommend discussing your planned giving options with your financial or legal advisor to determine the best approach for your unique situation. If you would like more information about planned giving or assistance in getting started, please feel free to reach out to our Planned Giving Specialist, [Specialist’s Name], at [email address] or [phone number].

Once again, thank you for your steadfast support of [Nonprofit Organization] and our mission to [reiterate cause or mission]. Your legacy of giving will continue to inspire and make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve.

With heartfelt gratitude,

[Your Name] [Your Title]

Example #5: Example Donor Quotes to Motivate Others to Give Through Planned Giving

  1. “Including [Nonprofit Organization] in my estate plans gave me a sense of purpose and satisfaction, knowing that my lifelong commitment to [cause or mission] will continue to make a difference even after I’m gone. It’s comforting to know that my legacy will support a cause I’m deeply passionate about.”
  2. “When I decided to name [Nonprofit Organization] as a beneficiary in my life insurance policy, it felt like a natural extension of my support for their incredible work. It’s a simple yet powerful way to ensure the organization’s long-term success and help future generations benefit from their efforts.”
  3. “Planned giving has allowed me to combine my passion for [cause or mission] with my financial planning goals. With a charitable gift annuity, I can support [Nonprofit Organization] while also receiving a steady income stream for the rest of my life. It’s a win-win situation that aligns with my values and financial needs.”
  4. “When I learned about the impact of planned giving, I realized that it was the perfect way to create a lasting connection between my family and [Nonprofit Organization]. By including the organization in my will, I know I’m leaving a legacy that reflects our shared values and commitment to making the world a better place.”
  5. “As a long-time supporter of [Nonprofit Organization], I’ve always admired their dedication to [cause or mission]. By designating the organization as a beneficiary of my retirement plan, I’m not only securing their future but also maximizing the impact of my own giving. It’s a small step that makes a huge difference, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”