What do you tell your boss or board members when they ask how you can prove a return on the marketing investment?
Through years of managing planned giving marketing programs at a variety of organizations, one truth is evident - leaders want some numbers! So I sat down over the weekend to put in writing my methodology, not realizing that an informative paper was in the making. Complete with examples, charts and calculations, you're welcome to take a look at the attached document.
Of all the ways charitable organizations raise mission funs, planned gifts are both, among the most important, and the most misunderstood. Generally considered end-of-life gifts, they can account for upwards of 30-50% of an organization’s annual revenue.
For some organizations, however, underfunded, misinterpreted or start-and-stop efforts fail to reach their ultimate revenue potential because planned gift efforts aren’t given time to take root and blossom. Given the extended lead time between investment in a program and receipt of ‘bookable’ cash, failing to report an understandable return on investment is often the foundational culprit.
Further, as a community of highly dedicated gift officers, we’ve taken too long to establish and adopt systematic ways to track and report these future major gifts to the decision-makers holding the funding purse-strings. My thoughts about how we can calculate a return on investment for planned giving marketing in a consistent and universal way are in the attached document.
Let me know your thoughts or how you calculate return on investment for your planned giving marketing. I’m listening! Comment below.