Jun 23, 2008

Fundraising Kudos to: Audubon Ad Encouraging Bequests

Every nonprofit that hopes to attract gifts from donors' estates knows how hard it is to find language with which to refer to that possibility in print. Words like "estate," "bequest," and "planned giving" are vague or jargony. And this is one case where simplifying the language -- for example, saying something like, "leave us money after you're dead" -- really doesn't work.

Bird nestThat's why my eye was caught by a page in an Audubon magazine (January 2008 happened to be the one I was looking at), with the heading: "Your Beneficiaries: There are more of them then you realize!"

Accompanied by a photo of children looking at a bird nest, it aptly, even humorously, reminds people that they care about a wider circle of life than their immediate family; and that by naming Audubon as a beneficiary in their wills or other documents, they can contribute to a better future for all.

Unfortunately, now that they came up with this nice language, it's off-limits, copyright-wise, to anyone else who might want to use it. But it's a good source of inspiration, and proof that you don't have to get into a language rut over this.