How not to lose your mind when starting out

One common question that I hear a lot is: where do I start? We’ve all been there, you

One common question that I hear a lot is: where do I start?

We’ve all been there, you need to start a new project, a new letter or in this case, a new legacy program and all you see is that awful white page on your computer. You know the one that is judging you, intimidating you, laughing at your inability to simply get friggen started!

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Urgh, that’s just the pits!

Let me break it down in simple, über easy steps to get you thinking strategically so you can start building your plan. There is one keyword to remember here…

SEGMENTATION

It all starts there – with database segmentation. It doesn’t start with your website, nor with your marketing collateral, or with a case for support (although having all those things in place is a fabulous place to start). What I’m saying is to prevent analysis paralysis, start segmenting your database to know who are your legacy prospects.

Why? Because you need to have a sense of who’s in your database and how you’re going to reach out to them. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Pull lists of all your active donors (made a donation in the last 2 years) by the number of years supporting your organization according to these segments:
    • 25 years and over
    • 15 – 25 years
    • 5 – 15 years
    • less than 5 years
  2. Pull lists of all your donors (lapsed or sporadic donors) by the number of years supporting your organization according to these segments:
    • 25 years and over
    • 15 – 25 years
    • 5 – 15 years
    • less than 5 years
  3. Pull lists of all your active donors (made a donation in the last 2 years) by age according to these segments:
    • Age 75 and over
    • Age 65 – 75s
    • Age 55 – 65
    • Age 45 – 55
    • Less than 45 years old
  4. Pull lists of all your donors (lapsed or sporadic donors) by age according to these segments:
    • Age 75 and over
    • Age 65 – 75s
    • Age 55 – 65
    • Age 45 – 55
    • Less than 45 years old

Armed with your lists, you start prioritizing and cross-referencing them. For instance, cross reference your list of donors over the age of 75 with the list of those supporting your organization for over 25 years. Then move to the next segment, over the age of 75 and supporting the organization for 15 – 25 years; and so on.

Once you have worked through everything and cleaned out your lists, prepare a legacy survey to get a sense of what your donors think of gift in wills. Their responses will tell you where you should plot them in your legacy pipeline.

Intrigued? Come back next week when I delved into the ins & outs of a good legacy survey.

In the meantime, if you have questions about data segmentation, send me your questions and I’ll answer them on Thursday.

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