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40% of charity supporters say they’d like to leave a gift in their will. However, only 8% of people actually get around to doing it.

How can you improve the odds for your charity?

Whether you are just getting started or giving an existing campaign a boost, this is where to start

Getting started

Celebrate your achievement. Let your colleagues (including volunteers and trustees) know that you’ve launched your free wills campaign. Internal engagement is incredibly important. We can attend any internal engagement sessions to help explain the importance of gifts in wills.

See our internal engagement resources.

Settle upon your core message to supporters. What is the best message or phrase to let them know that they can leave a gift, however small, and it will be gratefully received (e.g. Did you know – if you leave just 1% of your estate to charity others closest to you receive 99%). Again – ensure all of your colleagues are engaged.

Check out our landing page guide for tips on creating a call to action that converts.

Sign up with peer support groups for gifts in wills fundraising – a good stating point is the Legacy & In Memory Special Interest Group.

More about the Legacy and in-memory SIG.

Legacy Loop LinkedIn Group

To help support the Legacy Loop monthly sessions we have a Legacy Loop LinkedIn group. This is a closed group only available for our charity partners.  You can access the group using this link.  If you would like to join, use the ‘request to join’ button. It’s an additional way to keep you informed and for you to be able to ask questions and share ideas.

 

Core tasks

Gather legacy champion stories. Ask those closest to the charity who has left a gift in their will. Find out their reasons.

Get consent to share with other supporters. You’ll learn more about your donors and get priceless stories that can be used in your gifts in wills communications.

More about legacy champions.

Integrate a gifts in wills message to all your communications. Requests for a cash donation in every email, newsletter or letter is considered “normal”. Why not educate supporters too – let them know that they can leave a gift in their will?

Check out our email footer guide.

Start building the why for your gifts in wills campaign – and communicate that. Have you received any gifts in wills? What have they allowed you to do which you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to achieve? What would you do if you received a small handful of gifts (bear in mind a typical gift can be worth £30,000).

Amplify the message

Communicate a specific gifts in wills message directly to supporters. Schedule an article in your newsletters. A feature in the first, followed by a short piece in each newsletter after that.

Access the $10,000 monthly Google Adwords Grant and devote some or all of this to your gifts in wills message. Our in-house experts can help.

More about getting the most from a Google Ads grant.

Invite supporters to an event. Either over video conference or (if safe to do so) in person. Think about engaging new pledgers and “stewardship”(keeping those closest to you engaged).

Check out this press release template.

Engage your supporters with our marketing materials. Download and print a leaflet (page 1, page 2) explaining our service.

Review and iterate

Plan some communications to tie in with Remember a Charity Week and Make a Will Month. This is usually held in September/October. It is accompanied by a nationwide campaign and ongoing publicity. There are annual seasonal peaks in will making activity in Spring and Autumn.  Book time out in your calendar to review in advance so that your campaigns are ready to take advantage of these natural seasonal peaks in will making.

Review your integrated messages and refresh as required. Plan to review what worked well or didn’t perform as expected on an annual basis and make the necessary changes to ensure your campaigns are current and aligned with the latest marketing trends to enable them to grow year on year.

Training offers

Take advantage of our training offers and come along to our regular informal Legacy Loop sessions.  If you would like a specific topic to be discussed or if you have anything you would like to share – perhaps there’s something that you’d like to celebrate which has worked well or you’d like advice on something in particular, contact marie@makeawillonline.co.uk

Legacy Loop 26th June 2024 – Legacy Fundraising on a Shoestring’ with Richard Radcliffe

Join our upcoming webinar, ‘Legacy Fundraising on a Shoestring,’ and discover how to effortlessly integrate legacy fundraising into your existing communications with minimal investment. Led by the esteemed Richard Radcliffe FCIoF Cert, this session is crucial for charities of all sizes looking to tap into the soaring potential of legacy income. Learn practical strategies to weave impactful messages into your mail, emails, social media, and more.  Don’t miss the opportunity to transform your approach to legacy fundraising!

Legacy fundraising is so easy to put off – especially when you are under pressure to get funds in NOW.  BIG mistake – you might be losing out on a fortune!

This webinar makes legacy action so simple by integrating legacy messages into your communications without any major investment in time or money. Perfect!   This webinar is a “must see” for all charities regardless of size or activity.

You will learn how to integrate great messages into mail and emails, social media, newsletters and enews, events, staff and volunteer communications and in talks.
Richard will cover:
  • Why legacy income is rocketing
  • Who leaves legacies and why they do
  • The best call to action (usually involving the essential need for a Will!)
  • The best language to use
  • How to convince your Board to support a legacy initiative

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/legacy-loop-legacy-fundraising-on-a-shoestring-with-richard-radcliffe-tickets-900173502177?aff=oddtdtcreator

Legacy Loop April 2024 – Maximising Fundraising Potential: Integrating AI into Your Legacy Strategy – A Balanced View – Mary Kemp – Simpler with AI

Legacy Loop March 2024 – What’s in a Will – Oliver Asha and Sarah Husbands MaWO

Legacy Loop February 2024 – How to have confident legacy conversations – Clare Sweeney (Keepace Consultants)

Legacy Loop January 2024 – Charity Claim Checker – IDR Network with Martin Holdsworth, CEO IDR Law

Legacy Loop – December 2023 – Xmas Break

Legacy Loop – November 2023 – Video like a TV Pro

Legacy Loop – October 2023Death to Distribution

Legacy Loop – July 2023 – Open Forum & Networking

Legacy Loop – June 2023 – Smee and Ford Data – Pros and Cons

Legacy Loop – May 2023 – Comms planning

Legacy Loop – April 2023 – How and Whom to Steward

Legacy Loop: March 2023 – Internal Engagement

Legacy Loop – February 2023 – changing behaviour and making connections with the right messages

Legacy Loop – January 2023 – building a legacy pipeline

Seminar resources

April 2024 – Maximising Fundraising Potential: Integrating AI into Your Legacy Fundraising Strategy – A Balanced View – Mary Kemp, Simpler with AI

Our charity partners delved into the dynamic world of AI legacy fundraising with a captivating webinar hosted by Mary Kemp from Simpler with AI. The session shed light on how AI integration can revolutionize legacy fundraising strategies, offering innovative pathways to engage supporters and secure long-term support for charitable causes.  Here are some key takeaways from the insightful discussion:

  • Exploring the transformative power of AI in legacy fundraising
  • Leveraging AI tools to personalize donor interactions and nurture lasting relationships
  • Unveiling strategies to optimize AI integration for maximum impact on legacy giving

A huge thank you to Mary for sharing her expertise and guiding us through this enriching exploration of AI in Legacy Fundraising.  You can find the recording here.

For our partners who are ready to dive deeper into AI, Mary kindly offered to give our charity partners a free 45 minute session which is more hands on – email mary@simplierwith.ai to book your session.

March 2024 – What’s in a Will & More – Oliver Asha and Sarah Husbands – Make a Will Online

Oliver and Sarah explained the key parts of a will, highlighting how this works on the Make a Will Online platform.  They also spoke about the main blockers for many who still have not completed a will and what charities need to do if these conversations crop up.  You can watch the video and download the slides.

February 2024 – How to have confident legacy conversations – Clare Sweeney, Keepace Consults

Clare inspired everyone with some top tips on how to get wider teams feeling comfortable and confident about getting involved with spreading their legacy messages.  Do get in touch with Clare directly if you need further assistance.  In this dynamic session, Clare demystified the art of legacy conversations, empowered charities to forge deeper connections with their supporters and uncovered the secrets to confidently navigating legacy discussions through:

  • Debunking Myths: Explored and dispelled common misconceptions surrounding legacy giving, paving the way for authentic conversations.
  • Types of Fundraising Conversations: Learnt tailored approaches for engaging supporters in fruitful discussions, focusing specifically on gifts in wills.
  • Pipeline and Expectations: Gained insights into building a robust legacy pipeline and setting realistic expectations for successful outcomes.
  • Supporter Motivations: Understood what motivates supporters to consider leaving lasting legacies, enhancing your ability to connect on a personal level.
  • Why Conversations Matter: Discovered the profound impact of meaningful conversations and how they drive substantial support for your cause.
  • Conversation Toolkit: Equip yourself with practical tools and strategies to navigate legacy discussions effectively.

Watch the video here and download the slide pack too.

 

January 2024 – Charity Claim Checker, IDR Charity Network – IDR Law

We were joined by Martin Holsworth, Director of IDR Law and Lindsay Gibson, Head of Marketing for presenting.   It was very interesting to learn more about the work that IDR Law does with inheritance disputes and their IDRN (Charity guidance network) plus we had a demo of the Charity Claim Checker from Lindsay which gave us insights into the tool and how it can help assessing the validity of a letter of claim.   Do reach out to both Martin or Lindsay directly if you have any further questions.

Here’s the link to recording of the session plus the link to the IDRN which is the charity network of resources and where you can access the Charity Claim Checker.  Membership is free so why not register and add the tools to your toolkit.  You’ll also find the link to the letter of claim that was used in the session.   Feel free to test the Charity Claim Checker tool out for yourself.

Webinar recording:  https://youtu.be/t14RXcbtdy4?si=1GTe1r4LLu9cXs0g

IDRN – Charity Claim Checker: https://idrn.idrlaw.co.uk/charities/charity-legacy-issues/

Sample letter of claim

November 2023 – Video like a TV Pro – with Brilliant Trees Media and Keepace Consultants

We were joined by Susanna Boccaccio, Director of Brilliant Trees Media and Clare Sweeney of Keepace Consultants.   It was fascinating to learn more about the potential of video and gain some real practical tips on how easy it can be to make your own video in a professional way.  Plus gain some insights into some of the real experiences that Susannah and Clare have had recently filming at charities.   The whole process that’s involved and how engaging an experience it can be for everyone involved within charities was wonderful to hear about.  Please find the recording of the session here plus the slide pack too.  If you have any further questions please contact Susanna and Clare directly – you’ll find their contact details at the end of the slide pack.

Here’s the link to the recording – https://youtu.be/ZJ_4v4WZFkw

October 2023 – Death to Distribution – Improving understanding and communication between legacy managers, law firms and executors

We were joined by Matthew Lagden (Institute of Legacy Management) and Sarah Husbands (Lawyer – Digilegal).  It was lovely to welcome so many of our charity partners and members of the ILM to the session.  The aim of the session was to help improve understanding and communication between legacy managers and law firms/executors.   Thank you to all that joined and for your input and the questions that you raised – very interesting session.  Matthew and Sarah brought their wealth of experience to discuss the following topics below.  Check out the video recording and the summary slide pack.

Pre-probate: what’s involved in getting a case ready, what causes delays
Notifications: when and from whom
Best practice for communications and contact
Distribution of estate: common reasons for delay and retention
Fee scales: what to expect and what to ask the solicitors
Case scenarios: best and worse cases from a probate, charity and law firm perspective
Guidance for “thank you’s”
Questions and discussion

July 2023 – Open Forum & Networking – ‘Someone has pledged – what next?’

We were pleased to run an open forum discussion session this month which focused on the submitted discussion topic of ‘Someone has pledged – what next’.  Thank you all for joining and taking part in the discussions, it was interesting to find out more about how you approach this.  Check out the recorded session.

Marie put together some power-point slides on the main points and ideas that came up.  You can use this to help register what you already do in this space and how – plus add planning items that you want to develop in the future.  You can download the slides here.

 

June 2023 – Smee and Ford Data Pros and Cons presented by Chris Lincoln

Chris presented on the pros and cons of using Smee & Ford’s data to support the growth of legacy income across charities of all sizes and causal areas. Chris provided sector-wide insights and an interactive demonstration of a dashboard that had been custom-built exclusively for our webinar.  Check out the video and presentation.

April 2023 – Who and How to Steward – Resources

We were joined by Clare Sweeney of Keepace Consultants who presented ‘Who and How to Steward – taking care of legacy givers‘.  The session was very well received.  If you missed out or want to recap, watch the recording and download the slidepack:

May 2023 – Planning a communications campaign

Alex Hammond from Digilegal introduced the OASIS model of communication campaign planning and gave some digital marketing tips. Check out the video.

March 2023 – internal engagement resources

We were joined by Mike Flaherty from the North Wales Wildlife Trust who shared how he approached internal engagement at the Trust.  Take a look at his slides below.  He also shared his Front Line Legacy Enquiry Form.

Marie shared an internal engagement resource which charities can download and make their own to help engage staff internally and start the conversation about the importance of gifts in wills.

Marie also shared the 7 things to consider for Landing Pages – use this tool to help you get focus on what you want your landing page to achieve.

February 2023 Webinars