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By Patrick Schmitt
As National Make-A-Will Month approaches this August, nonprofits have a golden opportunity to supercharge their planned giving initiatives. Each year, Make-A-Will Month generates hundreds of millions of dollars in planned gifts for organizations across the nation.
By encouraging supporters to include a bequest to your organization in their will, you can unlock a simple, yet transformative planned gift. Even a modest contribution, whether a fixed dollar amount or a small percentage of an estate, can have an immense impact on the future of your nonprofit.
However, with only around one-third of Americans currently having a will, it’s essential for fundraisers to maximize the potential of this annual event. Even if you don’t have an extensive planned giving campaign exclusively dedicated to Make-A-Will Month, actively promoting it through various communication channels, such as email and social media, can yield remarkable results.
To assist you in harnessing the power of Make-A-Will Month, we’ve curated three effective strategies to promote the event to your supporters and enhance the number of planned gifts received by your organization.
1. Emphasize the Significance of Legacy and Impact:
Make-A-Will Month serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring impact individuals can make through planned giving. When communicating about this event, emphasize the significance of leaving a legacy and the transformative effect it can have on your organization’s mission. Consider the following key points:
- Illustrate how a planned gift aligns with your nonprofit’s values and long-term goals.
- Highlight success stories of individuals who have made a lasting impact through bequests.
- Explain how leaving a gift of even a small percentage of one’s estate can create a substantial difference in furthering your organization’s mission.
By painting a vivid picture of the transformative power of planned gifts, you inspire supporters to consider including your organization in their wills during Make-A-Will Month.
2. Provide Resources for Seamless Will Creation:
Making a will can be a daunting task for many individuals. To encourage participation in Make-A-Will Month, offer accessible resources and tools that simplify the process. While there are various options available, here are some effective steps to share with your supporters:
- Collaborate with reputable online will-making platforms, such as FreeWill, to offer a streamlined experience.
- Provide clear instructions and step-by-step guides on how to create a will.
- Offer templates or sample language to assist supporters in articulating their charitable intentions within their wills or codicils.
By equipping your supporters with user-friendly resources, you eliminate barriers and facilitate the will-making process, increasing the likelihood of their participation during Make-A-Will Month.
3. Personalize the Invitation to Give:
When promoting Make-A-Will Month, personalize your invitations to encourage supporters to take action. Tailor your messaging to resonate with their values and aspirations. Consider the following approaches:
- Craft compelling stories that showcase the impact of planned gifts on your organization’s work.
- Connect supporters with your mission by highlighting specific programs or initiatives they can support through their bequests.
- Offer opportunities for engagement, such as virtual events or webinars, where supporters can learn more about the benefits and process of planned giving.
By creating a personal connection and demonstrating the tangible outcomes of their planned gifts, you inspire supporters to embrace the spirit of Make-A-Will Month and take proactive steps to include your organization in their wills.
Make 2023 Your Biggest MAWM Ever:
As Make-A-Will Month approaches, it’s crucial to seize the opportunity to amplify your organization’s planned giving efforts. By implementing these strategies and focusing on the significance of leaving a legacy, providing accessible resources for will creation, and personalizing the invitation to give, you can maximize participation and generate transformative planned gifts.
Remember, the true power lies in inspiring your supporters to envision the lasting impact of their generosity and the positive change their planned gifts can create. By leveraging Make-A-Will Month effectively and engaging your community, you’ll set the stage for continued success in your nonprofit’s mission.
To make life easier for yourself and your supporters, consider partnering with a user-friendly platform like FreeWill, which offers a seamless experience for creating estate plans and includes the option to leave a charitable gift. Last August, FreeWill helped nonprofits raise $604 million in bequests by providing an easy way to help supporters follow through with their Make-A-Will Month intentions. For more outreach examples and ideas, download our Make-A-Will Month Toolkit.
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