The Donor Is Begging You "Tell Me Less!"

A great thing to say to a donor or prospect is, "Tell me more," right? Because we want to know everything about them. But I think donors and prospects want us to tell them less, at least when it comes to marketing planned giving.

We feel so compelled to give donors more information than they really need. It's so easy do, and we all fall into the trap from time to time. (That's why we have Pascal's famous quote, "If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.")

It's hard to be concise.

But next time you develop a postcard, brochure, newsletter or website to market your planned giving program, please remember: more content does not necessarily improve your response rates!

Less is more. Less messaging clutter, more gifts.

Many people believe postcards and brochures are printed to inform donors. The fact is they are not just information-givers. They're marketing tools and should be strategically designed as such. Your direct mail piece or brochure should have one goal, and that goal should be defined before you or your vendors jot down even the first line of copy.

Then say what you mean in plainspoken words. And bear in mind that no donor was ever motivated by being buried with factoids.

Of course, this isn't to say you shouldn't give any information; but it does mean you should only tell your donors what they need to know in order to be motivated to take the next step. You just want them to call you or send you an email. Once you are in front of them you can do your magic, uncover their needs and intentions and then tell them all they need to know about making a planner gift.

By: Joe Tumolo, Vice President of Sales at, published previously at  *Special thanks to for allowing us to share this article.

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