Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bequest tips from Adrian Sargeant at FINZ

Good session, as always, for the travelling fundraising academic.

Some really interesting tips on legacies from him, all backed up with research of course...

In 2011, 4200 charities in the UK received legacy income
Top ten of them charities accounted for 32% of the legacies
And the top 50 legacy charities (just over 1%) account for 55%

Grand kids are more negatively influential on will writing than all the good indicators such as volunteering donating etc. make sure you acknowledge this. Childlessness is increasing in USA - Adrian asked if it was in New Zealand, and the answer is yes.

'A gift in your will' is a better phrase than 'legacy' or 'bequest' because it is more inclusive, more acceptable no people who think their estate is going to be too small.

Telling people why they should tell you that they have put your cause in their will - 'so we can plan for the future' is not a motivator. NSPCC spells out that you don't need to tell us, but if you do we would love to thank you.

Probably best approach is that which spells put how you will thank.

He also reckons drop the puns - will to help, where there's a will there's a way etc.

Focus on looking after the future - people (generally) are not expecting to die soon.

A good campaign should not look at the same sort of motivations as a gift now. For example, no need to say what exactly you would use the money for ($20 to make a blind man see) - concrete examples are good for donations now, but for legacies be more value based.

concrete (examples)
subordinate (the building blocks)
contextual (the work that is going on now, the number of families helped)

abstract (values)
superodinate (I missed what this meant whilst I was typing)
decontextualised (more big picture, social change etc)
Structured (like show what you did in 1960s, 70s, 80s, etc and what you are going to do in 20 years time, 30 years etc) though better to say in 20 years time, not 'in the 2020s'

Check out Human Rights Watch 'a lasting contribution to your beliefs in human dignity'

Emotion is fine to use in legacy solicitation but the time between call to action and actual action is longer than other fundraising so does need more logical stuff because 'emotions discount faster than logic'

In 'immediate' fundraising you use negative consequences of not giving, (give us the money or..x won't happen), which is right. But for legacies, talk more about the positive impacts and benefits. This is because people are more optimistic about the future...

Adrian then presented lots of good (and bad) examples of good legacy packs.

Great stuff, thanks as always Adrian.

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