The Long Tail of a Planned Gift

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The road to securing a planned gift is often long and winding. It can sometimes take years of cultivation. But, even after the time and effort, estate plans (and minds) can change. 

What's a development professional to do? 

Keep. Them. Engaged.

  • Host cultivation events specifically for legacy donors. 

  • Invite them in for a behind-the-scenes tour or a special experience that is unique to your organization. 

  • Ensure they've opted in to your newsletter to receive ongoing news about your organization's impact and how donor dollars make it all possible. Give them insider access at every opportunity.

  • Consider this a membership group, for lack of a better term, and keep them engaged accordingly.

After they've signed on the dotted line is not the time to ease up—ongoing stewardship and cultivation will pay off in the long run. 

Want more information about planned giving? The Mid-America Charitable Gift Planners offers excellent programs and networking opportunities. Another great resource is their 24th Annual Building Blocks Planned Giving Conference, scheduled for September 20, 2019.

Top 5 Content Development Tips


Do you ever feel overwhelmed trying to come up with content? When work is busy, it can be easy to address immediate needs and spend less time planning, but making plans will save you a lot of stress down the road.

When you get stuck or things get hectic, find time to work through these 5 tips for content development:

  • Make that calendar - An editorial calendar is a must and it should include EVERYTHING.

  • Decide what is realistic - You probably can’t do everything right away. Start smart and build on success. Walk, jog, run. 

  • Delegate and assign responsibility - Engage volunteers and other staff where needed and appropriate.

  •  Know how you’ll repurpose it - Again, you must have a calendar. Look at all the ways you can use content – and when.

  •  Know how you’ll lead people to it - Why spend the time creating content if no one sees it? Plan every part of the process.

Take the time to think through what you’ll do and how you’ll do it. You’ll be glad you did.

4 Storytelling No-Nos

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At M&C, we’re happy to share tips for good storytelling and we usually focus on what should be done. At times, though, it’s also helpful to have reminders of what not to do

As you tell your organization’s story, here are 4 big no-nos to be mindful of:

1. Complicated stories

If the reader can’t follow what’s going on in your story, then it won’t move them to act. Find a succinct, clear way to stir emotions and convey your message.

2. Made up stories

Don’t make up stories EVER. Don’t risk losing the trust of donors, members or those you serve. Your story should be compelling without having to embellish or invent details.

3. Bewildering readers with endless data

Similar to complicated stories, confusing or overwhelming the reader with data will hurt your chances of getting the result you want. Correlate large numbers to concrete concepts. Provide context. Give your reader something they can identify with. 

4. Burying your ask 

The reader should know what you want them to do. Your call to action should be clear and not lost in your copy. Find ways to incorporate a softer ask early in your copy to build the feeling of partnership if you don’t want to lead with a strong ask right off the bat. 

When you steer clear of these no-nos, you have a better opportunity to tell your organization’s story effectively and drive support for your mission.