Why I wish I thought of that

Ashley Rowthorn Legacy innovation Leave a Comment

Last week’s IoF Legacy Marketing Group hosted a special ‘I wish I thought of that’ event, to share examples of innovation in legacy fundraising. 12 speakers had just 7 minutes each to present an idea they wish they had thought of, and why.

There were some fantastic ideas of innovation, from NSPCC’s legacy inspired garden, presented by Claire Routley, to RSPCA’s Home for Life Plan, presented by Alex McDowell.

I used my 7 minutes to present what I believe to be the best innvovation in Legacy Fundraising – CRUK’s Free Will Service.

Here’s a short video that explains how the service works.

Why I believe this is an example of true innovation

Now in its 3rd decade, the CRUK Free Will Scheme flies in the face of everything we seem to understand about legacy marketing. It is measurable, pledgers tell the truth, it takes just 2.6 years to make a profit, and all by promoting to a cold audience! How do they do it? Well, a combination of true innovation – being first to market, understanding their audience, refining their product and scaling up over time.

This is a campaign that has generated close to half a £billion in new pledgers over the last 20 years and now seeing exponential growth in income.

Any charity of any size and cause area could offer a Free Will Service as part of their legacy strategy. Either by forging partnerships with local will making companies, or by tapping into existing services. And many have done so with successful results.

And we can alll learn the principles of why this is so successful and apply them to the way we innovate new legacy fundraising products:

  • Be brave with new, untested ideas
  • Influencing leadership to take a long term approach and evaluate ROI in terms of 10 years or more
  • Persevering when things don’t go to plan, and learning from our mistakes to make continual improvements
  • Start small and scale up when we know the model works

View slides

Follow the link to see a copy of my presentation slides.

About the Author

Ashley Rowthorn

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Ashley is a legacy giving specialist, helping charities raise more money through legacy giving.

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