Viken Mikaelian

Stop Promoting Death

Viken Mikaelian  

This article is not for the faint of heart or the fawningly polite!

Your Prospects Don’t Want “Planned Giving” News.

The next time a planned giving vendor tells you they’ll generate repeat traffic on your planned giving website by delivering “exciting” revolving planned giving articles in online reading rooms, stop for a reality check. Your planned giving website is not Time magazine, and your prospects will not re-visit your planned giving pages on a regular basis to read earth shattering planned giving stories. Sorry, but to the average civilian, “planned giving is boring.” Continue reading

Viken Mikaelian

Are My Planned Giving Prospects Using the Internet?

Viken Mikaelian  

Absolutely. U.S. seniors use the Internet more than their younger counterparts and are the fastest growing sector of the PC-purchasing public. They also hold the majority of the wealth in the U.S. and are your main market. As they migrate to the Net, you should be there to meet them there.

The article titled Seniors and the Online Revolution is a must read on the resources page at VirtualGiving.

And by the way… your prospects are no longer seniors.

Viken Mikaelian

Counting Your Website Hits? The Real Scoop.

Viken Mikaelian  

Website HITS, or

How Idiots Track Success: A must-read article.

Most fundraisers aren’t that tech-savvy. And if one does not understand the basics, it´s much too easy to go down a misguided path by taking advice from someone not as much interested in his or her institution´s long-term interest.

Website “hits” mean nothing. Nada. Continue reading

Viken Mikaelian

Is Your Planned Giving Website Up-To-Date?

Viken Mikaelian  

Not only are your prospects online, but they’re savvy online. Now is the time to meet them there.

They’re researching. Investing. And their numbers are growing. If you don’t have a compelling Web presence, you simply don’t exist. Continue reading

Viken Mikaelian

Are You a "Binge Marketer"?

Viken Mikaelian  

The classic cry of the binge marketer is “Oops… business is slow. I guess I’d better do some marketing and send out a mailing.” If you find yourself in the middle of a quiet spell, thinking that a few actions, a couple of phone calls and a mailing here and there will get things moving again, you need to rethink your strategy. Continue reading

Viken Mikaelian

Giant Lies on Planned Giving Marketing

Viken Mikaelian  

There are so many lies, half-truths, and misguided misinformation out there about online fundraising that it’s driving me crazy.

Planned Giving Marketing Tools do not Close Planned Gifts.

I shop at Wal-Mart sometimes – there’s one around the corner. It’s not my hangout, but when I need some ordinary stuff, that’s where I go.

More often than not, my fellow shoppers have carts overflowing with gadgets. I wonder if all that stuff will ever get used, or will end up gathering dust in basements. Once you’re inside a superstore like Wal-Mart, it’s tempting to buy as many things as possible, whether you need them or not, because everything seems so cheap. Continue reading

Viken Mikaelian

Overkill Marketing

Viken Mikaelian  

Is your marketing level set to overkill?

Or, how to get your prospects tune you out without trying. [Unabridged version as published in The Journal of Gift Planning.]

Today, the Internet is offering planned giving officers new and exciting opportunities to increase the marketing of their programs. At the same time, boards, vice presidents and development directors are imposing ever more stringent requirements on planned giving officers for efficiency and accountability. It’s a good time to think about this: sometimes working harder means that we’re working against ourselves. Continue reading