Crafting dynamic planned giving journeys: 5 CRM tips

Kelly Cristaldi, Virtuous
May 23, 2024
min read
Crafting dynamic planned giving journeys: 5 CRM tips

Imagine a world where your nonprofit's future isn't just a hopeful dream but a well-planned journey toward sustainability and growth. In the realm of nonprofit fundraising, planned giving isn't just an option—it's the cornerstone that can transform fleeting generosity into enduring support. Yet, as the world of philanthropy evolves at lightning speed, the methods we use to engage our donors must evolve, too.

Planned giving is an inherently personal way to give, so the routes you take to secure planned gifts rarely look the same twice. Every donor brings a unique set of interests and motivations. To build a thriving program and create incredible donor experiences, you must tailor their journeys. How?

In this dynamic landscape, a robust nonprofit CRM system is an essential tool—your compass, your guide, your secret weapon. It's the key to creating dynamic planned giving journeys that resonate deeply with the unique preferences and passions of your donors. 

Here are five transformative tips to elevate your planned giving efforts using your nonprofit CRM.

1. Segmentation for personalization

One-size-fits-all is a myth, especially in donor relationships. Your donors are unique individuals, each with their own stories, motivations, and passions. This is where your CRM becomes invaluable. Use it to segment your donors based on a myriad of criteria such as: 

  • Giving History
  • Engagement Level
  • Demographics
  • Interests

By diving deep into these segments, you can truly understand what makes each group tick. Take, for example, donors who have shown an interest in planned giving. Craft content that speaks directly to them, highlighting the profound impact of legacy gifts and the multitude of ways they can leave a lasting mark on your organization’s mission. 

Personalization isn’t just a buzzword— it’s the key to building meaningful, lasting relationships that inspire greater generosity.

If you’re just getting started with planned giving, knowing what kinds of markers to look for can be a challenge. Get a headstart by learning from other nonprofits in the FreeWill Planned Giving Report.

2. Automated workflows for timely touchpoints

Imagine having a personal assistant who never sleeps, never forgets, and is always on time. That’s the magic of automated workflows within your CRM. These workflows can seamlessly streamline the donor journey, ensuring that no opportunity for connection is missed. Set up triggers based on donor actions or milestones—whether they’ve signed up for your newsletter, attended an event, or reached a new giving threshold.

These triggers aren’t just reminders—they’re catalysts for personalized emails, phone calls, or mailings that nurture the donor’s interest in planned giving. Automation allows you to effortlessly guide donors through each stage of their giving journey, from initial cultivation to heartfelt solicitation to genuine stewardship. With the right workflows in place, every touchpoint becomes a moment of meaningful engagement.

These kinds of features can greatly streamline the work of running an effective marketing strategy and stewardship cadence. Explore your current tech stack or research more robust CRM solutions to find new automation options.

3. Data enrichment for insights

Data isn’t just numbers on a screen—it’s the heartbeat of your fundraising strategy. 

With your CRM's data enrichment capabilities, you can transform basic donor information into a goldmine of insights. Dive deeper with wealth screening, social media analysis, and professional affiliations to uncover the full story behind each donor.

This enriched data illuminates your donors' capacity and propensity for planned giving, allowing you to see who’s ready to make a significant impact. Bolster your major giving pipeline and see your nonprofit’s support soar.

Armed with these sorts of insights, you can prioritize your outreach and tailor your solicitations to resonate with those most likely to respond positively. It’s not just about having data—it’s about turning that data into meaningful action.

Dynamic Campaigns starter pack from Virtuous

4. Integration for seamless communication

In a world where attention is fragmented, integration is the glue that holds your donor communications together. Your CRM should be the hub that seamlessly connects with every other system and platform your organization uses—email marketing software, fundraising platforms, wealth management tools, you name it.

These integrations create a symphony of consistent, coordinated communication across all channels, eliminating redundancy and ensuring your donors receive a unified message. Imagine a donor making an online gift and instantly receiving a personalized thank-you message, followed by an invitation to explore planned giving opportunities. 

That’s the power of integration—it turns every interaction into a chance to deepen engagement and build lasting relationships.

5. Analytics for continuous improvement

In the ever-evolving landscape of philanthropy, standing still is not an option. Harness the power of your CRM’s analytics to continuously improve your planned giving marketing strategies. Dive into real-time data and insights, tracking the performance of email campaigns, events, and donor communications.

Look for trends, patterns, and areas ripe for improvement. For instance, if you discover that donors attending planned giving seminars are more likely to commit to legacy gifts, amplify your educational outreach. With a data-driven approach, every insight becomes a stepping stone toward more effective donor engagement.

Turning strategy into impact

Dynamic planned giving journeys require a strategic approach supported by robust CRM tools. By implementing these five tips—segmentation, automation, data enrichment, integration, and analytics—you can cultivate and steward donors through personalized, automated, and data-driven strategies.

The heart of successful planned giving is in building meaningful relationships and empowering donors to make a lasting impact. So, take these strategies, put them into action, and watch as your organization transforms fleeting generosity into enduring support. 

The future of your nonprofit lies in the hands of inspired, engaged donors—let’s make it a future worth giving to.

Headshot of Kelly Cristaldi, Virtuous

About the Author

Kelly Cristaldi joined Virtuous three years ago and serves as the company’s Sr. Partner Marketing Manager. In that role, she helps oversee collaborative ways to partner with our ecosystem of partners.  She is responsible for actively promoting Virtuous’s suite of products and demonstrating its position as a nonprofit industry leader. 

Prior to joining Virtuous, Kelly worked for 5 years in the animal welfare sector and specialized in marketing, PR, and fundraising with a focus on major donors and corporate sponsorship.