Viken Mikaelian

Message from CEO

Viken Mikaelian  

For those of you who are reading this and are clients of mine, I truly thank you for your business.

When I started in 1998, I did it with the goal to make planned giving accessible to your average prospect. At the time, planned giving was so bogged down with legalese and mind-numbing details that fundraisers were intimidated and donors befuddled.

We’ve come a long way since then, but there’s still a shocking number of fundraisers taking calculator courses and fretting about tax codes while ignoring the relationship part of their job.

Not you. You’re among the top 5% who get it and take the lead. As our client, you know that planned giving is a people business and simple is best.

In 2000 when I introduced the planned giving postcard, a competitor who was (and still is) in the business of printing lengthy planned giving newsletters, pronounced: One cannot convey the complexities of planned giving in less than 500 words.

I proved them wrong. It turns out when donors are sorting through their mail with the TV on and chicken on the grill, they don’t want to read an essay about the complexities of planned gifts. They will, however, read a colorful, oversized postcard with a short teaser about “the gift that generates cash flow for life.” (That competitor started producing postcards not too long after their somewhat hostile critique.)

It’s been a fight to keep it simple from the beginning. I’m not wavering. Actually, the noisier our world gets, the simpler we make our message. My motto these days:

Don’t just simplify. Oversimplify. 

Thank you for choosing to not add to the clutter, but instead promote a simple, accessible planned giving message. Thank you for choosing to do business with PlannedGiving.com.

New Features For Our Clients

Here are some new features available for your planned giving website, as well as few existing ones you may not have heard about.

  • Specialized websites for religious organizations (Catholic and Jewish available now. More coming soon.)
  • Beneficiary designation highlights (bank accounts, CDs, savings bonds and more)
  • New gift types (Mineral Interests just added past December)
  • Weekly tips delivered to your donor’s inbox
  • Content translation (Spanish, Korean and more)
  • Calculators that generate reports with the option to forward to prospect’s advisor
  • eBrochures that are customized to match your branding (no generic stock images)
  • Donor-centric content that’s always tweaked to stay fresh and search engine friendly
  • Language for normal people, not attorneys
  • Videos of gift descriptions with your branding (a first in the industry)

Want more information?  Contact us at 800-490-7090. As always, we’re here to help.

Viken Mikaelian
CEO, PlannedGivign.com

p.s. I’m collecting examples of cringe-worthy language on planned giving websites. A little twisted, yes. But it inspires me. It reminds me why we fight so hard for simplicity. If you come across a good example, please email it to us —

Success@PlannedGiving.com.

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