Here are a few examples of the diverse ways we have worked and are working with clients. We pride ourselves on our flexibility and welcome the opportunity to discuss with you how we might meet your unique needs:
Assessing Planned Giving Feasibility
This membership organization had never approached its members about planned giving though it had been receiving occasional bequests over the transom for many years. As they approached their 75th anniversary, staff leadership retained SmartGiving to assess the feasibility of successfully launching a planned giving program. The feasibility study included interviews with key stakeholders, an audit of existing marketing opportunities where a planned giving message could be included at low or no cost as well as a gap analysis to identify planned giving marketing opportunities that needed to be created. An audience audit was also conducted to determine the number of members who would be strong prospects for a planned giving offer. A decision was made to focus on easy-to-execute gifts and Board policies governing acceptance of such gifts were adopted. A three-year financial pro forma estimated the investment necessary and the potential return on that investment.
Launching A Planned Giving Program
Following development and presentation of the case for a planned giving program to the Board of Directors, authorization to proceed was given. With only one Development staffer, virtually all planned giving functions were outsourced to SmartGiving, including creation of an annual marketing and stewardship plan, writing and production of the marketing and stewardship materials, execution of the mailings, fulfillment of information requests and stewardship calls to new Legacy Society members.
Taking a Planned Giving Program to the Next Level
A highly successful, nationally recognized planned giving program was given the opportunity to significantly increase its investment in marketing and stewardship. Instead of simply doing more of the same, they decided to first critically evaluate the success of individual components of their existing program and to identify opportunities not currently in use. SmartGiving was retained to conduct a comprehensive audit of the program, including the department’s organizational structure, audience segmentation, marketing planning and communication as well as stewardship. Following completion of the audit, SmartGiving was asked to help the organization implement many of the audit’s recommendations.
Creating Donor-Centered Planned Giving Marketing Materials
This organization had not been happy with the newsletter they had been sending donors, finding it not sufficiently donor-centered or relevant to their audience. They retained SmartGiving to overhaul the look and the content of their newsletter, resulting in a significant increase in donor response.
Auditing a Planned Giving Website
Realizing that their supporters were increasingly turning to the web for information, this national health charity asked SmartGiving to review their planned giving website and make recommendations for improving it. The result was a set of recommendations that the organization could easily implement on their own.
Consulting on Planned Giving Marketing
The Director of a small but very successful planned giving program wanted an external colleague to focus on marketing planning while staff focused on donor contact. SmartGiving serves as an extension of the department helping to ensure that marketing stays on track and that fresh new ideas are considered.
Facilitating Chapter-Based Planned Giving Marketing
Many nonprofits have a field structure (Chapters, Affiliates, Divisions, Field Offices, etc.). Often, the strongest donor relationships reside at the local level because that is where services are provided. These same field organizations often have a fundraising focus on special events and lack formal planned giving expertise. Yet, there is a realization that the local entity and the organization as a whole will benefit if the national or headquarters organization arms their field organizations with the tools necessary to enable basic planned giving marketing. For this organization SmartGiving helped create a toolbox of planned giving marketing and stewardship materials that can be customized and used at the local level.
Integrating Planned Giving & the Annual Giving
A school of a major private institution of higher education asked SmartGiving to help ensure that the Office of Annual Giving and the Office of Gift Planning were working together optimally and creating synergy that would elevate both programs. And audit of the two programs revealed numerous areas of opportunity in both departments. SmartGiving was asked to continue in a consultative role to help implement the audit recommendations.
DIRECT MARKETING/ANNUAL GIVING
Auditing a Mature but Declining
Direct Response Fundraising Program
After many years of success in direct response fundraising, this organization began experiencing declines. Wondering whether the downturn was the result of market conditions or other factors, the leadership of the direct response team retained SmartGiving to audit the program and external partners. An extensive set of recommendations were made which the organization is now implementing. They have already achieved success at improving results.
Planning for Progress
For this client, SmartGiving provides strategic fundraising counsel including helping senior fundraising leadership plan for and react to trends in the sector. The initiatives have ranged from changes to the relationship between the headquarters and their field organizations to the go-to-market strategy for launch of key initiatives. There is also a special emphasis on both direct mail fundraising and on planned giving.