At the CIOF Fundraising Convention in July, Emily Grint and I delivered an inspiring in-memory session, ‘A Celebration of In-memory Products’. We looked at the UK charity in-memory product landscape and invited a panel of charities to showcase their flagship in-memory products.
The session explored why in-memory products are so important and how charities can make sure they’re offering products that meet the needs and desires of people wanting to remember a loved one.
What do we mean by an in-memory product? We’re defining it as ‘anything a charity can offer a supporter to satisfy their need to remember a loved one, in exchange for a donation’.
Why are in-memory products so important?
33% of adults have made an in memory motivated donation in the last yearIn-Memory Insights 2023 (Legacy Foresight)
Legacy Foresight shared this year that 47% of adults in the UK were bereaved in the past two years, with 33% of adults in the UK having given to a charity in memory in the past year. That’s a sizeable group of people who feel inspired to remember someone in support of a charity each year.
We know that there is no one type of person who gives to charity in memory, and so in-memory products can’t be one size fits all. Charities need to think beyond funeral collections and tribute funds, which might be the most obvious of in-memory products.
At the Convention Emily and I had the pleasure of hosting a panel of four charities who kindly agreed to showcase some really special in-memory products, each demonstrating important in-memory best practice principles.
RNLI’s ‘Launch a Memory’
RNLI perhaps have one of the best known in-memory products – their hugely successful Launch a Memory dedication product. RNLI’s David Crossland showed the potential a well-loved in-memory product can have. Launch a Memory invites people to have their loved one’s name added to the letters and numbers on the side of a lifeboat. This is such a powerful way to keep a loved one’s memory alive and to do something amazing in their name. As RNLI say, “you’re not only adding the name of someone special, you’re adding a new chapter to their story”.
Wakefield Hospice’s ‘Material Memory Bears’
Keeley Harrison from Wakefield Hospice talked about their Material Memory Bears; handstitched bears made by Wakefield Hospice sewing volunteers, using the loved one’s clothes. This provides supporters with an immensely personal and special keepsake to remember their loved one by and the suggested donation of £50 makes this product affordable for supporters. The bears also provide a meaningful way for the sewing volunteers to make a difference and deepen their connection with the Hospice.
North Devon Hospice’s ‘Floating Bye’
North Devon Hospice’s CEO, Stephen Roberts, joined the session to talk about their Floating Bye event, an annual summer in-person event held on the beach to honour and remember loved ones. At the event people are invited to place a flower, with a message to their special person, on a handcrafted willow raft, which is then floated out to sea. Floating Bye is a really special and uplifting event, bringing people together and providing people with a place to go to pay tribute to their loved one.
MNDA’s Tribute Funds
And we welcomed Megan Bevis, from MNDA, who talked about MNDA’s tribute fund platform. MNDA have seen their tribute fund programme grow from strength to strength in recent years. They understand the importance of celebrating the life of a loved one, and do amazingly well at creating an uplifting and meaningful experience for tribute fund-holders through their tribute funds.
These in-memory products demonstrate some important principles that any in-memory product should have; from personalisation, providing a place to go, to making in-memory giving a celebration of life and an opportunity to encourage storytelling. And above all, to remembering the supporter’s ‘why’ – their loved one, and keeping them front and center, always.
It was great to be able to showcase these wonderful in-memory products at the Convention and to inspire other charities around the variety and potential of in-memory products. Offering a range of ways people can support charities in memory will enable supporters to remember and pay tribute to their loved one in a way that feels right for them.
If you’d like support with in-memory product development, or are interested in working with Legacy Voice to develop your our in-memory programme, we’d love to hear from you.