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The Planned Giving Blog

Authored by Kristen Schultz Jaarda, Executive Vice President of Crescendo Interactive, our blog discusses a wide variety of planned giving topics including marketing strategies, tax and legal developments, gift planning success stories, best practices and more.

Kristen specializes in charitable tax planning and online marketing for planned gifts. She is responsible for client education and consultation for Crescendo's web, email and software services. She is a member of the ACGA board of directors, the Planned Giving Today editorial advisory board and serves with a number of other charitable organizations.

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SEO 101 for Planned Gifts:  Understanding and Improving Your Placement with Internet Searches

SEO 101 for Planned Gifts: Understanding and Improving Your Placement with Internet Searches

Clients will sometimes ask Crescendo how to optimize search engine results. Every charity would like for its planned giving website to appear on the first page or top spot following an Internet search on Google, Yahoo or Bing.There are several things that you can do to improve your placement with...

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Gift of a Charitable Remainder Unitrust Income Interest and Charitable Bequest -- A Winning Blend

Gift of a Charitable Remainder Unitrust Income Interest and Charitable Bequest -- A Winning Blend

This is the final post in my series on blended gift strategies to share with your donors.  You may have donors with charitable remainder unitrusts who are willing to give up their interests to make a gift in support of your cause today.  Take a look at your database and...

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Gift of Annuity Interest + Bequest:  A Gift Blend for Charitably-Minded Supporters with Sufficient Income

Gift of Annuity Interest + Bequest: A Gift Blend for Charitably-Minded Supporters with Sufficient Income

Another blended gift strategy that may appeal to your donors is the gift of the interest in a charitable gift annuity plus a charitable bequest.  Do you have donors who no longer need their charitable gift annuity payments?  Perhaps they have sufficient income from other sources for...

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A Philanthropic Inheritance Plan for Young or Immature Family Members

A Philanthropic Inheritance Plan for Young or Immature Family Members

My last post focused on a blended gift combining a charitable bequest and a family lead trust.  What if you are working with a donor/philanthropist who likes this concept, but doesn't want to give her children (or grandchildren) the lead trust inheritance until sometime...

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A Way to Help Your Donor Benefit Family and Support Your Mission

A Way to Help Your Donor Benefit Family and Support Your Mission

My last post covered two planned gifts that make a perfect blend - a charitable gift annuity and bequest.  What if the bequest was blended with another planned gift, a charitable lead trust to benefit both your charity and a donor's family?  Who might be the right profile for this gift...

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Two Planned Gifts that Make the Perfect Blend

Two Planned Gifts that Make the Perfect Blend

I have written about a number of blended gift options always combining a current and planned gift.  That’s why this next combination doesn’t seem to fit.  Charitable gift annuities and charitable bequests are both considered planned gifts.  However, when combined in a...

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An Easy Way to Make Annual Gifts Plus Receive Income for Life

An Easy Way to Make Annual Gifts Plus Receive Income for Life

In the prior post, I discussed a powerful gift combination you should be marketing to your donors -- the IRA charitable rollover plus the charitable bequest.   You may have donors who like the concept of supporting your cause with annual gifts made from their IRA and want to continue their...

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A Gift + Tax Planning Strategy for Today and Tomorrow

A Gift + Tax Planning Strategy for Today and Tomorrow

Are you looking for a strategy that can help your donors achieve their philanthropic and financial goals both now and in the future?  Make sure you tell them about a blended gift option that combines the power of an IRA charitable rollover gift plus a charitable bequest.How does...

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A Blended Gift Strategy for the Donor who is Building a Nest Egg

A Blended Gift Strategy for the Donor who is Building a Nest Egg

In a prior post, I wrote about a blended gift strategy for a donor who wishes to make a gift today and create a stream of lifetime payments.  This plan, a combination current gift and charitable gift annuity, works well when the donor is retired or ready to retire and is seeking fixed payments...

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Giving and Receiving Income: A Gift Blend Your Donors Will Love

Giving and Receiving Income: A Gift Blend Your Donors Will Love

Some of the most marketable blended gift arrangements combine a current gift and life income plan.  Last week I focused on including a charitable gift annuity as part of your blended gift ask.  This week I want to focus on the charitable remainder unitrust as a component of a blended gift...

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A Way to Give and Receive

A Way to Give and Receive

I am continuing this week with my look at the most common blended gift arrangements.  One way for a donor to give and receive is by making a current gift to a charitable organization and creating a charitable gift annuity with the same organization.  This gift blend permits the donor...

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Building Endowment with Blended Gifts

Building Endowment with Blended Gifts

Are you looking for new ways to build your organization's endowment?  One strategy you might not have thought of before is a blended gift that consists of an endowed gift plus a charitable bequest.Your donors may be familiar with the concept of endowment giving.  When a gift is...

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The Most Common Blended Gift

The Most Common Blended Gift

This week is the first in a series of posts featuring blended gift options and marketing ideas for donors.  As I mentioned in my last post, a blended gift is a combination of a current gift and a planned gift.The most popular planned gift remains the charitable bequest.  So, it should...

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Everything You Want to Know About Blended Gifts

Everything You Want to Know About Blended Gifts

This week I am beginning a new series on blended gifts.  In the weeks ahead I plan to cover the most common gift blends and how to talk with your donors about combining their gifts for maximum impact.For this week, I thought I would focus on the basics.  What is a blended...

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Why You Should Use Downloadable Offers in Your Emails

Why You Should Use Downloadable Offers in Your Emails

As part of Crescendo's recent email study, we performed a test to analyze the results of a downloadable email offer compared with a text-only email message.  Crescendo designed three emails that were sent by Michigan Tech University on March 11, 2016. The emails included the same design...

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How Do the Sender's Name and Custom Subject Lines Impact Email Performance?

How Do the Sender's Name and Custom Subject Lines Impact Email Performance?

As part of Crescendo's recent email marketing study, we designed three emails for Michigan Tech University.  The emails used the same design and similar subject lines focusing on bequests. Our goal was to test different sender names and a customized version of the subject line. Using...

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How Do Colors and Fonts Impact Fundraising Email Results?

How Do Colors and Fonts Impact Fundraising Email Results?

As part of Crescendo's recent email study, we tested the use of colors and fonts and how they impacted email results.  Using the same subject line, “Protect Your Loved Ones and Create Your Legacy,” we sent two similar emails on June 15 for the University of New Hampshire (UNH) just...

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Video vs. Web Page Call to Action -- Which Works Better?

Video vs. Web Page Call to Action -- Which Works Better?

As part of Crescendo's recent email study, we tested the effectiveness of online calls to action.  Using the same subject line and design, along with similar content, we sent two emails for the University of South Florida (USF) to evaluate the click-through-rate (CTR) of a web page...

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What is the Best Option? Image & Text vs. Image-Only Email

What is the Best Option? Image & Text vs. Image-Only Email

When testing an image & text email against an image-only email as part of Crescendo's recent email study, we saw mixed results. While mobile-friendly email we designed for the University of New Hampshire had a higher click-through-rate (CTR), one of the image-only emails we designed for Hoag...

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Image & Text Email vs. Image-Only Email (Part 2)

Image & Text Email vs. Image-Only Email (Part 2)

This is a follow-up to last week's post discussing the results of a test conducted as part of Crescendo's 2016 email study.  Using the same subject line, “Protect Your Loved Ones and Create Your Legacy,” we ran another test comparing an image & text email vs. an image-only email...

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