A few years ago I had the opportunity to work with a large national charity, with the task of developing a new legacy fundraising strategy.
It seemed an exciting challenge. Founded at the outbreak of World War II, it had touched the lives of millions of people over the last 75 years. It has a huge volunteer base, an established donor base and a network of shops making it visible to the public.
On the face of it, this charity should be bringing in millions of pounds in legacy income. It’s in the right cause area, and it’s donors and volunteers look like the kind of people who might leave a legacy to charity.
But they’re not. At least not to this charity.
So we got some of them together and asked them why not. And they told us a stark reality.
They didn’t understand why they should leave a gift to us in their Will.
We found that because the mission of the charity had changed so many times over the years, we didn’t stand for a particular cause area. They were happy to give their time and occasional donations, but a legacy gift was different. It needed to have a clear and compelling reason to give a gift for the future.
So we spent time exploring what makes a cause worthy of a legacy gift and how we could use this insight to develop a new legacy proposition for the charity.
We found that a good legacy proposition has the following elements:
This journey led us towards a new legacy proposition that focussed on the emotional benefits of our cause.
Not what we did, but why we did it.