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The Crescendo Blog

Read the Crescendo blog for the latest changes, ideas and trends impacting charitable gift planning and philanthropy. Our blog features a number of writers on topics that include planned gifts and major gifts marketing, technology, donor motivation, stewardship and giving trends. If you have comments about our articles, please share them on our blog pages.

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Grow Your Legacy Community and Create Champions

Grow Your Legacy Community and Create Champions

When seeking to improve your planned giving program, focus first on putting together your game plan by creating two key moves management strategies: 1) a bequest marketing funnel, and 2) a legacy funnel. Yes, there are other important pieces to developing a planned giving program, but a clear game...

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Are Videos Popular for Gift Planning?

Are Videos Popular for Gift Planning?

Everyone seems to be a fan of videos. Most of us have viewed videos for tutorials, breaking news or a musical concert. Videos can be informative, entertaining and engaging.Videos are also popular for gift planning. I hope the thought of including videos on your nonprofit website is being seriously...

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Waiting for Your Planned Giving Website to Launch?

Waiting for Your Planned Giving Website to Launch?

When your planned giving website is ready to launch and you have access to all your outreach tools such as planned giving enewsletters, email blasts, surveys and more, hopefully you have a marketing plan in place. A plan allows you to set attainable goals and develop a schedule for planned giving...

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Two Tools to Connect with the Post Pandemic Donor

Two Tools to Connect with the Post Pandemic Donor

As we gradually turn the corner following the unforeseen events brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to adapt to the changing needs of your donor audience.We have all been affected by this ever-changing landscape, whether we are working from home, social distancing to aid our...

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With Changes in Donor Expectations Comes New Opportunities for Nonprofits

With Changes in Donor Expectations Comes New Opportunities for Nonprofits

Seasoned gift planners have seen several technology-based paradigm shifts during their careers. In the 1980s, after personal computers became readily available, companies like Crescendo released gift planning donor illustration software, allowing gift planners to produce professional illustrations...

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New Year... New Ideas

New Year... New Ideas

As we turn the page on another unique and interesting year, we tend to ask ourselves a similar question. “What’s next?” What are we going to do this year that we didn’t do last year? How do we grow and mature? It is natural and beneficial to review and remember your successes...

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What Can Happen When Collecting Proceeds from IRA Custodians: An Interview with Kimberly Jetton

What Can Happen When Collecting Proceeds from IRA Custodians: An Interview with Kimberly Jetton

Receiving notification from a donor indicating she has left your organization as a beneficiary of her retirement plan can be an incredibly joyful moment. This news is often a cause for celebration, especially when such an anticipated gift could be used for an organization’s visionary...

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Inspiring Your Donors about IRA Gifts

Inspiring Your Donors about IRA Gifts

Your donors have meaningful connections to your nonprofit mission and want to make a difference.  Are you ready to help them give in easy ways?  Has your organization marketed IRA Charitable Rollover gifts, also termed QCDs – qualified charitable distributions?The IRA Charitable...

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New Study: Key Takeaways from COVID-19

New Study: Key Takeaways from COVID-19

The world has changed and so has philanthropy. How has COVID-19 impacted fundraising for major and planned gifts? A new study just released by Crescendo shares stories and interviews of fundraisers, philanthropy consultants and donors during COVID-19. It also features some of the best practices seen...

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How Can I Measure the Success of our Planned Giving Program?

How Can I Measure the Success of our Planned Giving Program?

Have you felt like a deer in the headlights when your board or leadership asks you to report on the performance of your planned giving program? You are not alone. It is important to remember that planned giving is a long-range game. While it can be very helpful to consider how much money you have...

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Wrapping Up the Year with an End of Year Gifts Campaign

Wrapping Up the Year with an End of Year Gifts Campaign

The new year is quickly approaching and what better way to wrap up your marketing efforts for 2021 than by starting an end of year gifts campaign. By using your website, social media, email and print materials, you can start planning early to maximize your available resources. Here are some tips on...

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Why Do I Need a Planned Giving Website?

Why Do I Need a Planned Giving Website?

Donors and prospects typically want to complete their due diligence and check out a nonprofit's planned giving website before making any decisions about a planned gift. Without a resourceful, educational and inspirational planned giving website in place, donors will miss out on learning why they...

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Social Engineering: Understanding the Importance of Cybersecurity

Social Engineering: Understanding the Importance of Cybersecurity

Email is not what it once was. In the past, we could receive an email from friends and family and not hesitate to open it. The joy of receiving an email from a loved one quickly turned into urgency as you raced to open it and see what they wrote. That feeling of trust and joy is exactly what...

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Charitable Giving from IRAs

Charitable Giving from IRAs

There are many ways for donors to give to their favorite nonprofits.  A donor may give an asset to a nonprofit as an outright gift during life. Some gifts, like charitable gift annuities, create a “split interest” and provide an income stream to the donor and the remainder to a...

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How do I Prepare for the Donor

How do I Prepare for the Donor "Ask" Discussion?

Is there an easy answer to this question? Probably not since each donor is uniquely connected to you and your organization’s mission. For preparation for your next “ask,” here are some ideas to consider.As a philanthropy leader, one of your primary goals is closing gifts. In most...

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How a Stewardship Plan Helps Your Donors Feel the Love

How a Stewardship Plan Helps Your Donors Feel the Love

Your donors believe in you. They believe in your mission, and they want you to know that your vision for solving the critical needs in your community is something they deeply value. They are your greatest fans! They are also human beings who like to feel appreciated and involved. Your care, your...

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Social Media Is Important for Your Gift Planning Marketing

Social Media Is Important for Your Gift Planning Marketing

Social media is an important part of your nonprofit's marketing. Should you market planned gifts with social media? Yes, otherwise you will miss out on connecting with some of your best planned giving prospects who already connect and engage with your nonprofit on social media channels.Gift...

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Cryptocurrency & Charitable Remainder Trusts

Cryptocurrency & Charitable Remainder Trusts

As cryptocurrency has risen in popularity, many investors have begun looking for ways to maximize the benefit of their highly appreciated digital assets. Philanthropically-minded individuals have turned to a number of charitable avenues, taking large income tax deductions and bypassing capital...

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What Do Champions and Legacy Societies Have in Common?

What Do Champions and Legacy Societies Have in Common?

Your champions are those individuals who know, like and trust your organization. They fully buy in to your organization's cause. They are also your greatest assets. Your champions are the ones who positively talk about you with others, they volunteer with you and they financially invest in you. They...

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How Do You Find Your Best Prospects?

How Do You Find Your Best Prospects?

Do you sometimes feel like your marketing efforts resemble aiming for a moving target in the dark while blindfolded? Reaching your best prospects does not have to look like that; no crossed fingers or guessing is needed when you analyze key factors. Let's take a look at some of these factors,...

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Obtainable Ways to Increase Donor Engagement

Obtainable Ways to Increase Donor Engagement

Donor engagement is an important element to any successful planned giving program. The engagement strategies used to communicate with your donors should be developed not only for prospecting new donors but for your existing and most loyal donors as well.Take some time to think about the engagement...

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Finding the Good in a Difficult Time - What We Can Take from Covid-19

Finding the Good in a Difficult Time - What We Can Take from Covid-19

As we all know, the last 15 months has been a challenging time for everyone.  Businesses have struggled, families have suffered great loss, and nonprofits have been faced with unpredictable times. Some greater than others. How do we move forward? How do we learn from our experiences? What...

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Effective Enewsletter Tips for Nonprofits

Effective Enewsletter Tips for Nonprofits

A donor enewsletter is a key element of your marketing toolkit. Donor enewsletters are often service-based and stewardship oriented, focused on engaging with your donors so they feel connected to your cause. Here are a few tips for creating effective nonprofit newsletters.1....

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Much More Than a Thousand Words

Much More Than a Thousand Words

When it comes to creating successful fundraising campaigns, such as marketing planned gifts, there is no question that compelling photos and videos are a powerful component of that effort. By sharing their own donor, volunteer, mission-related work and staff photos, many organizations can go...

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How to Effectively Use Facebook Ads

How to Effectively Use Facebook Ads

With technology continuing to advance every day, it can be difficult to know the best way to reach your donors. Using a social media platform, such as Facebook, can be a quick and easy way to engage with your supporters and encourage planned gifts. For example, you might create an advertisement...

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The Power of Storytelling

The Power of Storytelling

Mister Rogers, the beloved American TV icon from the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show, always carried in his wallet a quote from a social worker that said, “Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.” Have you ever heard...

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Best Practices for Nonprofits on LinkedIn

Best Practices for Nonprofits on LinkedIn

If you are interested in integrating social media into your marketing plan for your nonprofit organization, LinkedIn is a great option to consider.  LinkedIn works well as a social networking platform for nonprofits to reach supporters because many professionals already use it as a point...

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COVID-19 Marketing Case Study: How One Charity Achieved Results with a Mailing and Donor Survey

COVID-19 Marketing Case Study: How One Charity Achieved Results with a Mailing and Donor Survey

In April 2020, shortly after the world shut down, Martha’s Village & Kitchen, a homeless shelter, food pantry and childcare provider in Indio, California, hired George Nasci-Sinatra as its major gifts officer. While the limited personal contact with donors posed initial challenges, George...

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An Interview with Notre Dame High School

An Interview with Notre Dame High School

Crescendo recently hosted a webinar titled Bequest Campaign Strategies. Through our preparation for that webinar, we had many calls with organizations across the country to learn how they are successfully marketing bequests. The topic of virtual educational programs was rather...

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Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

“Attitude of Gratitude” is a very familiar adage.  You may be asking yourself, “Where have I heard that phrase before?”  The answer probably is that you have heard this many times and in a variety of situations, likely from a motivational speaker, from your boss,...

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