Adam Buckles shares his top tips for spreading the legacy message.
This is a competitive market. If you donít tell your supporters about how important their legacy gifts are to your organisation, then I can guarantee that someone else out there will. It doesnít have to be a high-gloss brochure or an all singing and dancing webpage, but you do have to do something, and often itís the simple things that can really make a big difference. Follow these four simple rules to make sure your supporters are aware of the importance of legacies.
We all talk about how much we want to spread the legacy message across the sector and out to the general public, but why are we so quiet about it? Itís all very well having groups like Remember a Charity plugging away on our behalf, but we have a responsibility as well to talk about the subject matter in a positive way and to not shy away from it. The days of brochures with sepia images of lilies on them are long gone. Be proud of your legacy income, it shows you have really loyal supporters.
Spread the word
Do you have a legacy enquiry brochure/leaflet/letter/beer mat? Yes? Good. If not, why not? But it doesnít just stop there if you do. Tick-boxes, articles in newsletters, community group discussions etc. all play a huge part in getting the legacy message out there to your donors. The broader the spread of your legacy messaging across different mediums, the better the chance that when one of your supporters does think about leaving a gift in their will, theyíll think of you.
Speak to your supporters
As legacy fundraisers, itís our job to bang on about how great gifts in wills are (which they are). But in order to do this well, you should also be speaking to your own legacy pledgers to ask them why theyíve left you a gift. If you are not already doing this, you will be amazed by the different responses and stories you get back. You can then use some of these to show your supporters that itís not just you that thinks legacy giving is a great idea, but people just like them as well.
Get organisational buy-in
In my time as a legacy fundraiser I have come across a few charities now where only the legacy teams can talk about legacies.
Really? Who said that? Everyone should be talking about legacies. Look at the conversations other teams are having and see where a soft legacy ask/mention could be put in. A cash upgrade telemarketing campaign, or a mention by your supporter care team, are two easy options that can make an instant difference.
Adam Buckles is legacy programme manager at The Brooke